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my mother has gone mad and taken in a libyan lodger

(35 Posts)
rainbowtoenails Sun 03-Jul-11 11:34:04

Help! I need someone who knows about immigration law. My, suspected bipolar, mother has rented out her spare room to a man who has told her he fled libya in february. I'm assuming he's an asylum seeker but doesn't that mean he has to stay in specific as accommodation? He isnt a student and isnt working so he cant be on one of tho@e visas. He is paying rent/living expenses from money he has sent to him from libya. I've told her she has to ask to see his visa. Ive told her she could get into a lot of trouble if she is harbouring an illegal immigrant but she just shrugs it off and tells me to keep my mouth shut! We have long suspected she has bipolar disorder, could this recklessness be a sign of mania? What do i do about this? . He sleeps all day and only goes out after dark so it is all very suspicious.

gallicgirl Sun 03-Jul-11 11:42:43

If he's been accepted as an asylum seeker then he will be supported by NASS and have no choice about where he lives:

However, I think that until he is accepted, it is up to him to support himself but he should have declared his intentions with the UKBA.

It does sound a bit dodgy but I have no idea what you can do about it. Sorry.

HenryRegatta Sun 03-Jul-11 11:49:32

Its not Gaddafi is it?

wordsonapage Sun 03-Jul-11 11:51:16

I read it as a librarian lodger....

Sorry I know thats not helpful.

Glitterknickaz Sun 03-Jul-11 11:57:01

OMG we'll be nuked.

rainbowtoenails Sun 03-Jul-11 11:59:42

Gallic-thanks, i dont know if he has actually applied for asylum yet or not. Surely he couldnt have been granted refugee status so quickly? I thought that took several months.

Lol, ive not seen hi+ so he could be abyone for all i know.
I nwed to know how to put a stop to this without gwtting mum into trouble.

nomoreheels Sun 03-Jul-11 12:01:41

People do sometimes nominate private addresses when they apply for support from the Home Office, and can apply for subs only (money only). Your asylum application and your support are two different things. However the address is stated on the application and has to be cleared by the HO. For example, they wouldn't accept a commercial address (e.g. a shop)

The man should have ample paperwork re: his asylum application and it would be fair enough for your mum to ask about it since she is helping him. If it's ongoing (no decision yet, or appealing etc) then there is nothing illegal going on.

Personally I have never know anyone offering lodgings to a destitute (out of the system, no ongoing application) asylum seeker to be prosecuted for any offence.

But as she is a consenting adult, I don't think there is much you can do apart from be there and suggest that she goes to a law centre or CAB for advice if she needs it.

rainbowtoenails Sun 03-Jul-11 12:02:49

Glitter, dont even go there- she was joking about him taking flying lessons, the woman has totally lost the plot!

MonkeyTastic Sun 03-Jul-11 12:05:00

Assuming he is an asylum seeker, if he needs it he'll be able to apply for NASS support and will be provided with accommodation by UKBA. If he is a failed asylum seeker he will be provided with Section 4 support and accommodation if he meets certain conditions.

Asylum seekers are under no obligation to apply for financial or housing support. It's there if they need it. If they have the money, they can sort out their own accommodation. It is not illegal for someone to rent out a house, flat or room to an asylum seeker or failed asylum seeker so your mum won't get into any trouble.

In conclusion, he doesn't have to live with your mum. He can get other accommodation if she wants to kick him out. She wouldn't be leaving him high and dry. And no, she won't get into trouble if she rents out a room to him. But, she does have a strange man living in her house - you might want to keep an eye on that.

rainbowtoenails Sun 03-Jul-11 12:12:32

I doubt if he has told the HO he is there. Mum gets a , very small amount, of benefits so she isnt declaring this rent income. He isnt destitute, he seems to have plenty of funds.
They are also about to move into a ha house, which wont allow subletting, but she thinks he'll be able to hide out without the neighbours noticing! She doesnt seem to be able to see how crazy this all is. She has had delusions in the past, should i tell her gp about this?

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Sun 03-Jul-11 18:36:02

Without wishing to alarm you, it occurs to me that without sight of documentary evidence of his country of origin and his legal/illegal status, he could be from anywhere (including the UK) and there could be more sinister reasons why he only goes out after dark.

If he entered the UK illegally or has outstayed a visa, and given that your dm would seem to be 'vulnerable', my concern would be that the possibility of marriage might enter the equation.

I would suggest that you take it upon yourself to pay a daytime call on your dm, insist on meeting her 'lodger', and come back here with further info/your opinion as to whether the guy is genuine before considering any further action.

Please rest assured that if this situation goes pear-shaped it's highly unlikely that your mum will be held responsible in any way.

InTheNightKitchen Sun 03-Jul-11 19:48:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

somethingwitty82 Sun 03-Jul-11 19:54:45


Loled so hard

rainbowtoenails Sun 03-Jul-11 20:04:44

What got deleted? Didnt see that msg.
Marriage not on cards, parent@ seperated years ago but never divorced. Mum has lt boyfriend. I did go round there but was told to stay quiet so as not to disturb lodgers sleep!
She says he is quite young and knows others in uk but has no family.
I cant imagine how ahe feels safe with him in the house. He could do anything while she is out. I might tell my dad even though shes told me not to.

FlangelinaBallerina Sat 16-Jul-11 11:32:24

Just seeing this now, but no it doesn't necessarily take a long time for a person to be granted (or refused) asylum. There have been some massive backlogs in the past, but nowadays the Home Office do deal with the vast majority of new asylum claims quite quickly. Lots of decisions are made within a week or two of the susbstantive asylum interview. If he did claim asylum when he arrived in February, very probably he would have had a decision by now. But not necessarily.

It's also possible that he's on a visit visa. You get those for six months. If he came to the UK in February, it may still be valid now (depending on when it was actually issued).

In your shoes, my main concern here would be the possibility of her being sanctioned for not declaring this extra income to the benefits people.

springydaffs Sat 16-Jul-11 11:51:56

oh gosh. I used to host foreign language students and, along with the rest of the hosts, have stopped taking arab students, even ones from Libya (who are more liberal). NIghtmare tbh. ime they have no regard for women at all and will expect you to be an unpaid slave. I know that sounds extreme but that really is the bottom line - though they can be very very charming and, as your mum is quite vulnerable at the mo, she could have a crush on him; or, she could be enjoying being a mummy again - arab men seek out mother substitutes at any opportunity (they're not silly! someone to look after them!). This is all so dodgy, on every front. I don't see that there's much you can do about it though OP - she's an adult. Apart from report her/him sad

G1nger Sat 16-Jul-11 11:58:03

I highly doubt he'll have got refugee status this quickly. But it's not impossible. I don't really see what difference it makes if he's an undocumented migrant, or an asylum seeker, or not. I feel you have two options: 1) You speak to your mother and try to persuade her to let you ask for his papers / more details of who he is, or 2) You leave her to live her life.

Would you be as concerned if she'd taken in someone of another religion/nationality?

Lunabelly Sat 16-Jul-11 11:59:05

Um...what about the fact that our government is engaging in a "war" with his alleged country of origin?
Go back 70 years and make him German.

Lunabelly Sat 16-Jul-11 12:05:58

And no, I am not saying that all Libyans are terrorists ffs, but saying that any country who is engaged in combat with another country should be bloody well taking a bit more notice of who is coming in and out of said country. It's called common sense. confused

Finallyspring Sat 16-Jul-11 12:05:58

I can't imagine how she can feel safe with him in the house ?

Why ? Because he's an Arab man ?

The assumption that all asylum seekers/ Arab men are dangerous and/or suspicious is irrational and prejudicial. It upsets me that people believe the constant association in the media between asylum seekers and crime. In this case the association has been made bewteen mental health issues and asylums seekers, that the only reason someone would take one in is if they are unbalanced.

People seek asylum because it is impossible for them to live in their country. Like Jews in the Second World War. Have some humanity. Seeking asylum is a legitimate thing to do.

Finallyspring Sat 16-Jul-11 12:07:11

sorry, not sure why my first sentence was strike through !

Mellowfruitfulness Sat 16-Jul-11 12:11:35

It strikes me that the lodger is behaving perfectly normally for a young man and he's paying rent, not causing your mother any trouble.

However, your mother is definitely a criminal as she is defrauding the system by not declaring the rent money! Only joking (not judging) - I can see that you would worry, especially as you are concerned about your mother's mental state. However, you've done your bit. You've talked to her, it sounds as if you are around to keep an eye on her and you've asked for advice on here. Mine is not to worry but continue to be vigilant.

Mellowfruitfulness Sat 16-Jul-11 12:12:55

Agree, Finallyspring.

Mellowfruitfulness Sat 16-Jul-11 12:13:49

Also, if she lives on her own it might make her feel safer having a man in the house.

FlangelinaBallerina Sat 16-Jul-11 12:15:36

Ginger, I'm an asylum and immigration lawyer, and the charity I work for has had several Libyan clients claim asylum and be successful (also be refused) in recent months. I see no reason to highly doubt that he could have got refugee status this quickly. It's very possible. Particularly if he's someone who might have some kind of strategic value to the UK- eg if he's ex military or something like that.

And yes, there are some worrying assumptions in this thread. I say this as someone who has certainly encountered some sexism from Libyan men whilst working as a lawyer. Lunabelly's comments are interesting because of course the UK did detain Germans during WW2, including German Jews. In any war situation, you'll find that some people from the 'enemy' country have much more reason to support the other side than its own citizens do, iyswim. People like this can be a resource to be tapped. Don't for one second think that Libyans who can be of value to the war against Gaddafi aren't in the UK and doing what they can to assist.

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