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To wonder what you do if you claim HB

(57 Posts)
elderflowerlemonade Wed 24-Jun-15 15:53:23

If you claim HB and are looking for a place to rent, but landlords won't accept you, what do you do?

ChuffinAda Wed 24-Jun-15 15:56:52

Lie to the landlord is what I did.

Got the hb paid to me and I paid it to the landlord

whyhasmyheadgonenumb Wed 24-Jun-15 15:58:33

I did the claim after I moved in, you don't have to tell the landlord with my council. I get it paid direct to me then I use it to pay the rent, he has no idea

elderflowerlemonade Wed 24-Jun-15 16:07:33

That wouldn't work with an agency, though, would it, as they need to see proof of income.

ChuffinAda Wed 24-Jun-15 16:23:41

Ah, are you solely in receipt of benefits? In which case no you're right there is no way round that.

Speak to the housing officer at the council for advice.

elderflowerlemonade Wed 24-Jun-15 16:24:41

No, not me smile wondering for a friend in fact.

ChuffinAda Wed 24-Jun-15 16:27:13

Erm no need to get shitty about it! Advice is still the same. Seek specialist advice from a housing officer.

TongueBiter Wed 24-Jun-15 16:27:31

I get hb and I work part time. I've rented three houses (the first as a mature student with no income apart from student grant and a pittance maintenance from ex-h.

I have a guarantor, and I write myself a glowing personal reference grin

ListenToYourHeart Wed 24-Jun-15 16:28:24

It's awfully difficult.

When I was solely on benefits I found it impossible to find an agent or landlord to accept me.

In the end I had to borrow 6 months rent upfront, and pay it upfront.

elderflowerlemonade Wed 24-Jun-15 16:28:37

Where was I getting shitty? shock

Francescal88 Wed 24-Jun-15 16:29:46

I am in exactly the same position and tearing my hair out. It's all very well for a council to offer me £840 a month in housing benefit but it's bloody useless if but to let mortgages stipulate that tenants on housing benefit are strictly not allowed!!!

The only thing you can do is find a private landlord who outright owns his property.

You cannot lie and say you don't receive housing benefit as they need to see proof of income for the past three months.

It's very, very difficult.

elderflowerlemonade Wed 24-Jun-15 16:31:23

I hope that it works out for you francesca

motherofmonster Wed 24-Jun-15 16:38:45

umm . . possibly not the most upfront way of doing it, but..
Could you have housing benefit paid to you into a second bank account(b). Then set up a standing order to move the money into your main bank account so it just shows as a bank transfer? if questioned you could say it was child maintenance? as long as you are not using that income to claim against other benefits i cant see how you would get into too much trouble.

Only thing it wouldn't work for a first time renter as you would have to have a rental agreement before claiming but might work for someone looking to move

PtolemysNeedle Wed 24-Jun-15 16:45:32

Lying to landlords is a disgusting thing to do, it's pretty much fraud.

It's people that do scummy things like that that make some landlords use an agent when they'd otherwise manage their property themlsves, and that increases rents and ends up with tenants paying ridiculous agency charges.

MeltchettsLovelyMoustache Wed 24-Jun-15 16:48:38

Landlords who don't accept tenants on benefits are disgusting. I have no sympathy for any landlord.

yellowcurtains Wed 24-Jun-15 16:56:11

Meltchetts- it's the mortgage company that makes the stipulation not the LL. But by all means, lie, when the house mortgage is called in I'm sure you'll be fine

motherofmonster Wed 24-Jun-15 16:57:13

Then perhaps landlords should not feel the need to treat people who claim hb as second class citizens.
And before we start, not all landlords that refuse to take hb do so because the buy to let conditions prohibit them from doing so

BunletMum Wed 24-Jun-15 16:57:21

Well, I must be a lucky one. I got a place to rent via agency and I rely solely on benefits. Yes the advert said no HB accepted but when I called them up to talk it really wasn't such a big deal. I do have a guarantor though, so that may have been the deciding factor.

I do think however that the actual landlady owns this place outright too. And I did have a huge deposit to cover and 2 months rent upfront.

ChuffinAda Wed 24-Jun-15 16:58:28

I also have no sympathy for the landlord

As long as the rent is paid who cares where it comes from? Money is money. Unless you're concerned a hb tenant will trash the property? Which hate to tell you but most are normal people who want to live peacefully

GlitterTwinkleToes Wed 24-Jun-15 17:00:36

The landlords also have to sign something in the hb form (they had to two years ago, don't know it has changed?) so lying is not going to work.

Bair Wed 24-Jun-15 17:07:44

Ask the agent if there's a way to speak to the landlord about it.

We did and she's bloody lovely. We're in a bad area and I think it was used as a lazy way to vet potential tenants. To be fair I can't judge her for it as some of the people in my street can't go a week without breaking a window or setting fire to a bin.

PtolemysNeedle Wed 24-Jun-15 17:08:56

As long as the rent is paid, you're right that it shouldn't matter where the money comes from. But unfortunately HB claimants are more likely not to pay their rent, are more likely not to leave when they are supposed to, and are more likely to trash the property.

Blame other claimants for this problem, not the landlords who have every right to protect themselves.

It's not just down to the mortgage company, it's about insurance companies as well. There is a reason why lots of landlords don't want to take more of a risk than they have to.

whyhasmyheadgonenumb Wed 24-Jun-15 17:09:20

I'm a landlord too and I accept housing benefit from my tenant - generally guaranteed income! That's through an agency too...not all landlords are shots!

owlborn Wed 24-Jun-15 17:13:14

I've rented to HB tenants before and the issue I've had hasn't been that they've not cared for the property, but that the bloody HB people are such bastards. I had one tenant who was lovely, but the HB benefit people kept mucking him around - they wouldn't process his application for HB until I'd given him his lease which said he was moving in straight away and then it took forever to come through and wasn't completely back dated. I decided to suck that up, but then he got some temp work, and they proceeded to stop his HB completely and we were back to square one.

Then I rented to a lovely girl who's HB didn't cover the whole mortgage (and I really wasn't charging an extortionate amount - I was towards the lower end of normal rents in my neighbourhood) and so I tended to get a chunk of the rent from her HB but she was almost always behind with the chunk she was having to pay out of her JSA. I let that lapse a couple of times, because I felt sort of mean chasing her when I knew she was struggling.

In the meantime, my mortgage company were still taking the mortgage from me, so I had ages of paying my mortgage with no rent or a reduced rent coming in. it was just very nerve wracking and didn't feel like a very stable source of income.

Not the tenants fault and I'd still rent to HB tenants again, but those have been my only two experiences with HB. I know. Anecdata is not exactly reliable and I might have been unlucky.

owlborn Wed 24-Jun-15 17:17:24

From the other side of it, agents in general are a total nightmare for anyone who doesn't fit a very specific profile.

I'm renting at the moment, having just moved cities. DH and I had to pay deposit + 6 months rent up front because my income is freelance and I didn't have a contract and he hadn't been in his job for long enough. We both owned property, we both had bank statements showing proof of regular income (mine alone could cover the rent) and he had a contract saying he had a permanent job. No go. A friend of mine had to pay up front because she is on a yearly contract, despite it having been renewed three times and more than covering the rent.

We did pay, but I did feel sorry for anyone moving house. Basically, unless you're in secure salaried employment with a traditional employer and are only moving down the road, and have no kid and no pets, it's a total pain.

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