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SIL is our Landlord...more of a WWYD

(58 Posts)
albapunk Tue 21-Jun-16 16:02:45

Sorry this is quite long, NC as potentially outing.

DH and I live in a property owned by his sister. SIL property is perfect for us. When we moved in we had been claiming housing benefit on the previous property, SIL asked us not to continue our claim when we moved into her property as she had trouble in the past. She said she would adjust the rent to reflect this, stating she wasn't worried about making profit.

We agreed to £X amount, which is still a substantial amount of our income but do-able. DH and I have had a rough few years but everything is picking up and I have accepted a new job offer which means we wouldn't be entitled to HB once I start so we figured we could get by on a tighter budget for a few months.

No lease had been signed when we moved in, but it was a hectic move and the last of our worries as the landlord was obviously family. SIL received various letters and a final notice over council tax. DH went in to the office to change all the details over and put us as tenants so SIL is no longer liable as the house is occupied now. DH was told he would need a lease to do this but SIL refused to issue one and told him to tell the council that she has given him the property. DH questioned this, he is currently out of work until September, she is still paying her mortgage and there was no way he was claiming to own a property when he didn't. DH again asked SIL for a lease or a written agreement that we lived in the property and she as no longer liable, again this was refused and SIL said that we can just pay her the council tax (as if the property was still lying empty) on top of the rent.

Of course it kicked off between DH and SIL as DH doesn't want to commit fraud. DH and I would have no address and the council would have the property marked as empty so the council tax amount would be the rate set for landlords with empty properties .DH and SIL has a massive argument as DH was trying to solve the problem so we could deal with the council tax demands that are still being sent to SIL. She has now said she wants nothing more to do with DH, he is as good as dead to her and we've to move out. SIL owns a very successful business so DH thinks this has something to do with tax avoidance as a landlord.

WWYD in this situation? DH is devastated and I'm furious. AIBU to think that if you agree to taking on tenants, family or otherwise, they still require a lease, and be able to put their name on the council tax?!

Tiggeryoubastard Tue 21-Jun-16 16:05:18

Your husband is lying. You don't need a lease to pay your council tax. That's a load of bollocks.

DJBaggieSmalls Tue 21-Jun-16 16:08:09

Its possible that the real reason she is doing this is that the mortgage lender bans her from renting out the property. Hence no lease, or CHB. and the issue with the council tax.

I'd look for somewhere else as soon as possible. She is trying to commit fraud, and to get you involved.
You may also want to make a statement and leave it with a solicitor in case there is any fallout later on.

FlibbertigibbetArmadillo Tue 21-Jun-16 16:09:55

This all seems very odd.
When I last moved into a rented property I didnt need to show the council my lease to go on the council tax bill, I just called them and said I lived there now and it was sorted.

IMO if your sil won't give you any sort of lease you are better off moving, as that way madness lies, family or not. You would have no protection at all and neither would your sil

TweenageAngst Tue 21-Jun-16 16:10:06

She is probably not declaring the income either..

albapunk Tue 21-Jun-16 16:10:20

Tigger - the property had been empty for a while so SIL as a the owner was required to pay council tax, which she ceases to be liable for when a new tenant moves in. DH was given a form with all the information on it which I've seen, including parts for her to sign.

AgnetaTheViking Tue 21-Jun-16 16:10:39

I'd be getting proper legal advice. Your SIL is up to something. Try Shelter or CAB.

myownprivateidaho Tue 21-Jun-16 16:10:39

Yes I've never had to show a lease to pay council tax. But anyway, if you're not happy with the arrangement with sil then you will have to move out. It sounds like things have got fraught with the mixing of business and family. It's a huge hassle, but it sounds like it would be easier for everyone if you could find a new place.

albapunk Tue 21-Jun-16 16:12:39

DJ - It was a buy to let property AFAIK as she is a registered landlord and had tenants claiming HB before.

Not sure how local councils deal with changing council tax over, but ours were very clear on what was required. Possible as there is a lot of Housing Benefit fraud in our area? and DH has the paperwork etc given to him that details what we need to do. We had to show a tenancy agreement for our previous property also.

albapunk Tue 21-Jun-16 16:14:52

At this moment in time we can't afford to move out, we can't afford a deposit or a higher rent than what we are now paying, at least until I start my new job and DH starts his in September.

SILs massive overreaction and telling DH she was "dead to her" makes me think there is something else going on that SIL is keeping from us.

yougotitdude Tue 21-Jun-16 16:20:21

Your SIL sounds like a drama queen for starters. Hand her a massive grip from me.

This is why you shouldn't rent from friends and family. Just like why you shouldnt buy a car from them- when something goes wrong, your relationship will suffer.

Get out.

BarbaraofSeville Tue 21-Jun-16 16:30:49

She could be renting it out without permission from her mortgage lender.

Sounds strange because if she throws you out, she is unlikely to find another tenant that will agree to her terms of living there on the sly?

If she wants someone to live there and pay her rent, it all needs to be above board surely?

Mishaps Tue 21-Jun-16 16:37:11

Thee will be lots of possible reasons for this muddle - but at the bottom of it was the fact that you did not organise a proper legal document when you started to rent the property. Family or not, you need this. We have a bit of a similar situation and everything is being done by the book.

DuckAndPancakes Tue 21-Jun-16 16:40:32

You wouldn't be able to claim HB on a property that's owned by a family member anyway, AFAIK?

AnotherStitchInTime Tue 21-Jun-16 16:46:48

I pay council tax on my dad's property that I live in rent free. No problem.

Marynary Tue 21-Jun-16 16:47:26

Your sister in law is obviously up to something. It may be that she doesn't want her mortgage lender to know she is letting out the property. It's not fair that you will in effect have no address though. Presumably you are not on the electoral roll and won't be able to vote or get credit etc? Not a good situation for you. I would move out when you get the chance but you don't need to be afraid of her pushing you before you're ready. My guess is that she won't start legal proceedings to evict.

aquamarine2 Tue 21-Jun-16 16:48:12

My BF had exact same. She was desperate for somewhere to live (long story) and moved into a property on the grounds of landlady's (a supposed friend) own house. It was a huge garage/workshop converted into living accommodation.

The agreement was that there was to be no lease and no council tax. Clearly the income from the rental was not being declared.

Thank god she is out of there now, awful place and awful creepy landlady

VodkaValiumLattePlease Tue 21-Jun-16 16:50:29

Duck in certain circumstances you can, at my council you have extra forms to fill in & the fact that she's got a buy to let mortagage and a track record of letting the property out helps. BUT the council would check on whether they're declaring so that might be it.

witsender Tue 21-Jun-16 16:50:55

You don't need a lease to pay council tax. As a landlord, k have never signed anything. Just call up and say you live there.

whois Tue 21-Jun-16 16:56:41

Both DH and SIL are up tpo something a bit fully.

SIL is obvs not wanting to declare tax or whatever. If she is renting you the property, even wiht family, she still needs to comply with the required regulation e.g. lease, fire alarms, carbon monoxide, gas saftey etc

DH is tellng porkies when he says he can't pay council tax without a lease. That is just not true. Why he is lying about it, I can't think.

KittyLaRoux Tue 21-Jun-16 16:59:19

You need to stay put.
You cannot afford rent and bond on a new let and the council will not rehouse you without a section 21 eviction notice. You can register on line for c/tax i did for my rental property no lease needed.
Continue to pay your rent and explain to sil if she wants you out she needs to give you an eviction notice. You can then apply to the council for a LA property or one of their private let properties where they pay the bond.
You owe her nothing OP she is out of order and commiting sone kind of fraud.

OnionKnight Tue 21-Jun-16 17:01:38

The SIL is up to something.

The OP has said a form that DH was given by the council backs up what he is saying.

albapunk Tue 21-Jun-16 17:06:06

You can rent from family in certain circumstances and claim housing benefit but you need a lease to prove its a commercial agreement, so this makes me think SIL never intended on giving us a lease in the first place.

DH is definitely not up to something, I have seen the form he was given, SIL needs to sign it or provide proof the property is occupied and she is no longer liable as proof. I would link to the council website where these forms and all the infocan be also be seen, including telling you to attach a lease but this would be extremely outing.

DH is very very upset with SIL, his heart is totally broken by some of her comments. She is known for being overly dramatic but as a business woman, and a successful one, she is generally a professional person. She obviously doesn't want us to change the council tax into our names either way now.

BurningBridges Tue 21-Jun-16 17:12:08

Is she receiving HB under another name, on that property?

BurningBridges Tue 21-Jun-16 17:12:38

But really whatever, what choice do you have other than to leave ASAP? sad

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