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Do I need to inform Landlord if I claim Housing Benefit?

(38 Posts)
FranklyMe Sat 13-Feb-10 20:51:47

If I am renting privately and believe I am entitled to some HB (I am working so will not be entitled to full amount), would I need to inform my landlord if I made a claim?

I would be getting HB paid to me directly.

wastwinsetandpearls Sat 13-Feb-10 20:53:03

Yes you do.

When we rented our house out we could not rent out to people claiming benefits. I can't remember if that was down to our mortgage or insurance.

cookielove Sat 13-Feb-10 20:53:07

Yes you do, well we had to, so i assume everyone does!

FranklyMe Sat 13-Feb-10 21:32:14

That's interesting. I found something on the net elsewhwere that said you didn;t and wondered if anyone had any experience. Hang on will see if I can find it again.

cookielove Sat 13-Feb-10 21:37:50

ok just asked dp and he said he needed a letter from the landlord to get it. I have a full time job, so he was claiming for his half maybe it is different doing it this way

jaquelinehyde Sat 13-Feb-10 21:46:06

No you don't have to unless stated otherwise in your tenancy agreement.

When applying for it a copy of your tennancy agreement is usually fine.

I am happy to be corrected as things may have changed since I worked for the LA.

FranklyMe Sat 13-Feb-10 21:48:00

Hmm. The claim form says that the tenant has to give permission for the claim to be discussed with the landlord but also says that they may need to contact the landlord to confirm certain tings and can do so without the tenant's permission.

Confusing!!

I am guessing actually that there may well be a clause in many tenancy agreements saying that you have to inform the LL or that you are not allowed to.

The problem is I have found a house to rent but don;t want to ask the Agent if the LL will accept me putting in a claim for HB in case they say no.

I can meet their criteria on income (they won;t take a tenant on their books who has a gross income of less than £18000, but with tax credits & Child Maintenance I just about have that).

Can anyone currently renting privately tell me if they have a clause in their tenancy agreement that prohibits claiming?

Ewe Sat 13-Feb-10 21:48:13

No, just been looking at this myself, not necessary to tell them unless the housing benefit is going to them directly.

Providing you have a copy of your tenancy agreement that outlines your monthly rent? They do need confirmation of that but it doesn't have to be a letter from landlord.

FranklyMe Sat 13-Feb-10 21:50:22

Ah OK thanks, cross-posts Jacqueline.

I can;t make a claim until I have a signed tenancy agreement, so I guess once I have signed, unless the tenancy says I can;t, actually there is nothing stopping me - doesn;t matter if LL knows or not, then, I guess.

I have been a landlady in the past but it's so long ago I can;t remember!!

PDR Sat 13-Feb-10 22:00:27

We are landlords and it's our mortgage lender and insurance company which prevent us from letting to ppl in receipt of housing benefit.

I think this is the case with most mortgage lenders so you will need to find a landlord who owns the property outright and has insurance which allows.

Letting agents should be able to tell you which properties are suitable for you.

By not disclosing this you might make the landlord's buildings insurance void

I claimed housing benefit last year and landlord had specifically said no dss and that anyone claiming HB would be evicted (I wasnt dss when I moved in, made redundant) so I didnt tell him and had it paid directly to me, on the form there is a section asking if HB can contact the landlord to inform them you have made a claim and how much they have awarded, I ticked no and they never contacted him.

FranklyMe Sat 13-Feb-10 22:09:23

Good point PDR. I have had a look at a standard tenancy agreement I found elsewhere and it just said that the tenant gives permission for the LL to be informed if they make a claim.

Do you know if your tenancy agreement states that your tenants may not claim?

There are so few suitable properties available (atm I have a choice of 2) I can see narrowing down the options to those who own outright is going to be really hard sad

I don;t want to be underhand or do soemthing that would cause a LL a problem, just don;t want the Agency to tell me to get lost before I've even started.

ah xpost with pdr, the buildings insurance wasnt the issue with our landlord and he owned the properties outright he just, in his words "wasnt having dss scum in his houses"

happysadconfused Sat 13-Feb-10 22:11:47

I'm just about to enter the renting market (hopefully).
I'm in a bad situ, and have been to housing options people about council housing/associations etc. The lady I talked to there made an appointment for me for a fortnight, but mentioned private landlords to me, to which I said about them not being keen on HB/IS people. She looked at me daft and said, "the law has changed, you don't have to tell them anymore, the money goes straight to you".
We shall see.

happysadconfused Sat 13-Feb-10 22:13:23

ooh niiiice verity.[hmmm]

littleducks Sat 13-Feb-10 22:17:33

No you dont have to tell them to claim and can have it paid directly to you. Its none of their business where you get money from.

However they may have problems wrt their mortgage lensders/building insurance.

So if in tenancy agreement it states you have to inform them you should, if it doesnt you are free to do whatever you like.

PDR Sat 13-Feb-10 22:19:42

OP, no I don't think there is anything in the contract you know... so technically unless the HB contacted the landlord then they might not ever find out.

I know it's highly unlikely but if they did contact the landlord, or something happend which meant a claim on buildings insurance I don't know if it would leave you in a sticky siutation?

I don't know what to say really, as I see it's difficult for ppl on HB but as a landlord I would ask everyone to be honest!

FranklyMe Sat 13-Feb-10 22:20:35

Thinking about it, it must be the responsibility of the LL to ensure that there is a clause in the tenancy agreement if it would invalidate their insurance or be against the terms of their mortgage?

And probably the duty of the Agent to point this out to them, given it's them who usually draw up the tenancy agreements.

I think the only way round this may be to see the tenancy agreement before making any decision.

fairy15 Sat 13-Feb-10 22:22:05

the council pay most of my rent, this goes striaght to me. i remember the council saying that you don't have to tell the landlord, however i did have a form that had to be signed by the landlord or estate agents & they had to fill some boxes in so i'm not sure how it could be done without them knowing as i was going to give it a go!

tw888 Sat 13-Feb-10 22:23:15

No, you don't have to tell your landlord. When I applied for housin benefit I just put his/his agent's details on the form as requested and showed the contract to the officer as a proof of the amount of rent I'm paying. I asked if they were going to contact the landlord as I didn't want him to know I was claiming benefit and they said no.
I'd say check your teancy agreement for any restrictions on claiming housing benefit.

FranklyMe Sat 13-Feb-10 22:23:25

Yes, sorry PDR, I do see your point.

Having been a LL I can see from both sides - this is building insurance so from the tenat's POV the only risk is that they might be made homeless if the house burned down whereas the LL could lose everything.

PDR Sat 13-Feb-10 22:23:25

My DH is now saying there is an extra clause in our contract, along with no smoking, no pets etc.

If there is nothing saying "no HB" then I would assume it's ok?

FranklyMe Sat 13-Feb-10 22:24:52

I thought it must do, PDR.

Because oterhwise, you have no protection if your tenant does claim.

FranklyMe Sat 13-Feb-10 22:27:35

Thanks everyone BTW.

I think I will not mention this to the Agent now, but if I decide to go ahead will obviously have to check the tenancy agreement and if it says I can;t, I will either have to pull out, or take on the tenancy and not claim.

PDR Sat 13-Feb-10 23:01:08

Not a lot of other landlords posted here but here is an old thread which might be of interest:

here

BertieBotts Sat 13-Feb-10 23:15:42

I didn't realise that about the mortgage terms. I was told by the lady at the council that I didn't have to inform my landlord that I was claiming HB.

I would have a look through the tenancy agreement and see if there is anything in there. Then assess whether the landlord seems like a nice person or not before deciding whether to tell them or not blush

Just for the record, my landlord does know I am in reciept of HB.

kela23 Sun 14-Feb-10 09:25:06

What you tell your landlord is up to you. Just stay a good tenant, pay rent on time, don't mess & don't make a fuss over trivial things you can fix yourself. I've had a dog for the last 15 years which no landlord has ever known about, nor have they known about my partner being made redundant & out of work for a year so we had to claim full housing benefit.We're still claiming for half our rent now as my partners on a low wage. We are lucky that our current landlord of 3 years is fantastic & likes our cats but previous ones have been so nasty that if they knew about the dog, redundancy, benefits etc then we would have been homeless with 4 children. We can't afford ever to buy anything so are stuck in the rental market as can't even get a council house (on waiting list still, 10 years later)so always protect yourself & only disclose what is necessary or you won't get the home you want.

Phoenix4725 Sun 14-Feb-10 09:30:52

op i was the op on that thread , best way is to let them meet you in person.Agen/landlord been very through i had provide refernces bank statements etc.

M stepdad has been my gurantor and he had provide job and personal refs and bank statements plus wage slips .

So just make sure agent will not ask the same from you

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 14-Feb-10 14:53:21

Like others have said, HB can affect the lanlords mortgage or insurance. Quite often there is a clause in saying you must tell them if you claim HB or there may be a clause that says any damage not covered by the insurance will be your reponsibility.

Risking somebody asset is wrong, whilst you may have to move if there was a fire etc the landlord could end up with a void insurance policy and no asset yet still have to pay a mortgage if the worst was to happen.

expatinscotland Sun 14-Feb-10 15:05:00

I think 'NO DSS' is just as wrong, tbh.

muggglewump Sun 14-Feb-10 15:10:06

My last LL was happy to take DSS, he knew how it worked and knew he'd get his money each month.

My current one would prefer not to but he bought the houses with sitting tenants. There's only me left now who gets HB, though not the full amount any more.

Bonnyandborris Sun 14-Feb-10 15:53:30

You can get look through your tenancy before you sign in and check what is says about informing you landlord about a DSS claim, but, I bet there won’t be mention of it in there. If there isn’t, job done, you don’t need to inform them. End of.

It’s your landlords job to insure the property adequately and give correct information to his insurer, not yours. If having a tenant in receipt of DSS payments invalidates your landlords insurance or mortgage loan agreement then the only way he can enforce you not to claim is by requesting it formally by way of you tenancy agreement….which, would be difficult to do, 1st because new and sensible laws have been introduced to protect tenants, and 2nd, because it would probably not be in the landlords best interest. If their tenant lost their job a year or so down the line they couldn’t be evicted and they only way the landlord would have a hope of the rent being paid is by benefit being paid to the tenant.

I have a friend who works in lettings, every add they post says NO DSS, nearly every landlord on their books will consider a person in recipe of DSS payments.

pinkyp Fri 19-Feb-10 01:18:34

No u dont, i rented and because housing benefit got paid directly to me it was fine, we had 2 options either pay it to me or pay it straight to the landlord.It never said on our claim forms we had to inform the landlord and he never knew as he always got paid.Different councils might do things a little different tho so check with them

Mum2be2011 Thu 12-Aug-10 19:00:35

I have a question regarding all of this.

I have just found out i am pregnant and am wondering what to do.
If I stay at my job and my partner stay at his we wont get our full rent paid for will we?
But if we both went on job seekers they would help with all the rent wouldnt they?

I am very confused about what to do and what situation would help us out more

Mum2be2011 Thu 12-Aug-10 19:00:57

I have a question regarding all of this.

I have just found out i am pregnant and am wondering what to do.
If I stay at my job and my partner stay at his we wont get our full rent paid for will we?
But if we both went on job seekers they would help with all the rent wouldnt they?

I am very confused about what to do and what situation would help us out more

Simon1967 Tue 14-May-13 09:19:20

Here's the thing with claiming HB: IF it is paid directly to you then you do not need to tell the landlord at all IF it is not specifically written into the tenancy agreement that it is let on the basis that you are not on (it almost never is).
The landlord will not be contacted by anyone from the DSS without your prior written permission to do so either.
As far as the DSS are concerned, you have provided a copy of the tenancy agreement and that is the end of it.
As far as the landlord is concerned you have signed the tenancy agreement and you are paying the rent, so that is the end of that.
All you need to do is make sure that you have a 'Assured Short-Term Tenancy Agreement' signed by the landlord and you (you can get these off the internet easily enough).
I hope that helps (the reason that I know all of this is that I spent ages trying to find DSS-accepted properties in London, and it's easier to have an audience with the Pope frankly).

specialsubject Tue 14-May-13 10:13:21

recognising a zombie thread, but: it is the insurers and mortgage companies that make it difficult to rent to HB tenants. Why would landlords want to reduce their tenant pool?

If you lie to the landlord you invalidate his insurance and could even mean that the property gets repossessed because it is being fraudulently let.

josephelectric Wed 15-May-13 11:36:25

One of the reasons landlords won't allow HB claims is because they may have a residential mortgage on the property rather than a specific buy to let.
The house price increases that happened in 2006 / 2007, where prices literally tripled in most areas meant that a lot of 'accidental' landlords were created.
In a lot of cases the mortgages have remained as residential ones as a bank will probably add 1 - 1.5% on to the interest rate if you inform them that you're going to rent out your property.
When a claim is made the local council may contact the bank at which point the landlord may get caught out, thus breaching the terms and conditions of the product at which point the bank can start repossession proceedings....

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