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to want my credit check money back?

(22 Posts)
DailyMailEthicalFail Thu 11-Aug-16 12:13:55

Am applying for a Tenancy.

Have met the Agent (Forestry commission).

Explained that I would be living separately from H and will qualify for full HB which will cover the rent and full CTax. (cannot apply until have Tenancy agreement but it has been checked and double checked and I fulfill all criteria).

Discussed on phone and also when I viewed the property with the Forestry employee.

I applied. I was referred for referencing. I had to supply a Guarantor. I did so. £75 each.

I get an email just now to say that, as the rent is unaffordable for me then the Tenancy would have to be in Guarantors name as well as mine. But as guarantor wont live there then they cant help me.

I am not happy. I was crystal clear with Forestry commission (by phone and in person and in my 'covering letter' prior to application).

I cant afford to lose £150 if I now need to look elsewhere.

Feellikearightungreatfulcow Thu 11-Aug-16 12:16:44

I've never heard of a contract being in a guarantors name - written into it, but not in their name

What do you mean by But as guarantor wont live there then they cant help me.
I'm not sure why you can't proceed as it is?

Feellikearightungreatfulcow Thu 11-Aug-16 12:18:38

Also depending on the timings of you moving in - council tax and HB can take a while to sort /apply/receive - if this doesn't come through in time will you be able to make the rent?

DailyMailEthicalFail Thu 11-Aug-16 12:22:43

Yes, I can make the rent.
I can pay 6 month upfront if needed.

The Guarantor is H (we are separated, and house going on market).
He is full time employed and I am currently not working as I am undergoing a series of operations.

All of this known to landlord prior to referring me for credit check.

x2boys Thu 11-Aug-16 12:28:36

I would repost this in lega,l i know when i was private renting they credit checked both myself and dh and it cost us over £200 they made it clear it was non refundable if we failed we also had to pay over £100 every time they renewed the contract thabkfully i,m in a council house now.

pinkdelight Thu 11-Aug-16 12:28:43

It does sound like a nightmare, sorry they've wasted your time and money, but this is how these standard checks are now and if they use them, then I don't see how it could have turned out differently? They run a credit check. It says you can't afford the rent. They decline your application. End of, usually.

There won't be any element of the check that can cover - she believes she will qualify for HB and will apply after we give her the tenancy so hopefully it'll all be fine. And having a guarantor doesn't usually negate the need to be able to afford the rent yourself, it tends to be more of a safety net in case you can't afford the rent in future. It sounds like they essentially need a tenant whose credit check will show that they can afford the property now, which is what I'd assume unless they specifically said otherwise?

What did they say that made you think the credit check was for another purpose? It feels like a very standard process, but if someone official said words to the effect of "it'll be fine, the results of the credit check don't matter, we get how HB works and we will rent it to you at our discretion anyway", then YANBU and they should refund you for misleading you.

pinkdelight Thu 11-Aug-16 12:30:00

Just read your update. That really sucks - the 6 months upfront usually swings it. Hope you can negotiate something. So hard when you having to deal with a process not a human being.

DailyMailEthicalFail Thu 11-Aug-16 12:44:43

I told them that I would be applying under HB.
You cant apply for it without an address and a Tenancy Agreement.
So you apply to a landlord that accepts HB. Get your TA. then the HB.

I have been through the criteria very carefully with HB people.
All good to go once I get my TA.

I have a Guarantor anyway.

FC say that he would have to live with me and the Tenancy be in his name too. Clearly they don't get how a Guarantor works?

If that is their criteria, fair enough, but they should not have put me forward for referencing. I cant afford to lose £150.

The FC person was nice but hopeless. Initially it was no HB. then 'yes' HB.

I gave ALL my income figures prior to referencing.

DailyMailEthicalFail Thu 11-Aug-16 12:52:06

My income needed to be £13K.
As I am unable to work at present it is just my DLA which is £6.5K
It was an interactive application form.
So when I put my income in, it says I need a Guarantor.
Fair enough
My guarantor earns 28K.

So, I get an email from the credit check people to say that it has passed.
And to contact the landlord to arrange Tenancy Agreement.

I email the landlord advising this and asking about 'moving in'. I advised that I would now apply for HB but could pay rent in meantime anyway.

I have been quite honest and followed procedure.
I have passed a credit check (which will be on my history now, for another one, great sad
And, because they didn't listen about the HB, they have changed their minds and wont refund me the £150.


EnriqueTheRingBearingLizard Thu 11-Aug-16 13:27:12

Maybe Shelter could help you somehow?
They have a free advice line

pinkdelight Thu 11-Aug-16 14:17:13

Ah, so you passed the credit check. That's very weird of them then. And completely hopeless of the FC person. The changing their minds thing is not on.

"Initially it was no HB. then 'yes' HB." Have you got the 'yes' in writing? That might help. If their policy is no HB, but they told you that wasn't the case and that's why you applied, then you could push for a refund. Hope Shelter can help. Good luck!

Theoretician Thu 11-Aug-16 14:53:19

This reminds me of when DW asked me for £250, which would allow her to register with a professional body and use her degree. After she had posted off the form, I read a copy in which it was made plain in two short simple sentences on the front page that (a) people in DW circumstances would be refused and (b) the £250 was non-refundable.

I don't blame the law society for not wanting a lawyer who was unable to comprehend their application form, but charging £250 for pointing out how big an idiot the applicant was seems harsh, even by the standards of lawyers.

DailyMailEthicalFail Thu 11-Aug-16 15:10:58

Apparantly, when they get a credit check like mine back they 'then decide'.

So, the credit check (which just said to refer) was not the problem.

They are now saying 6m rent by tomorrow morning.


DailyMailEthicalFail Thu 11-Aug-16 15:18:06


no I don't have it in writing.
But I have referred to it in my email and she hasn't denied it.

She says when she worked in the private sector (Forestry Commission is a Govt body) that:

"With regards to understanding how Housing Benefit works, I have dealt previously with tenants in receipt of HB in my old job and they were usually able to provide some sort of confirmation from the council that they were eligible for support."

I have just looked on the Shelter website (not accepting calls due to volume) and it says that to apply for HB you need proof of rent in the form of:

Tenancy agreement, Rent Book or Letter from Landlord

AnchorDownDeepBreath Thu 11-Aug-16 15:28:45

I wonder if the difficulty here is that your guarantor here is your husband? will you divorce? Maybe they are concerned that the financial split during a divorce would affect the tenancy.

You can get a letter from the council saying you're eligible for help at the moment, although councils tend to see them as a waste of time so aren't keen to give them.

DailyMailEthicalFail Thu 11-Aug-16 15:29:24

They also say that:

"when an application comes back as a referral we don't usually proceed but it does depend on individual circumstances".

DailyMailEthicalFail Thu 11-Aug-16 15:31:59

No the guarantor is fine apparently.

It is because I said I would now proceed with my HB application.

H and I are not divorcing but living separately and amicably.

To claim HB the marital home needs to go on the market which will happen when I move out. I wont be eligible for HB until then?

They are giving me until tomorrow morning.

I just think it's Lousy, given I was completely upfront about everything.

AndNowItsSeven Thu 11-Aug-16 15:35:49

Your council will give you a print out at one stop shop detailing your entitlement , so she is right.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Thu 11-Aug-16 15:48:25

Ah. Do you have in writing from someone that you can claim housing benefit whilst remaining married if you live seperately?

That's a breach of the housing benefit regulations (unless they've changed significantly in the last year or so, but a quick Google suggests otherwise) - it's allowed during divorce as long as the marital home is up for sale - so you may need written evidence to pressurise the council into paying you discretionary housing benefit for a time. That might mean they won't give you evidence of entitlement, though, as you're not yet - and they can, thereotically, stop discretionary payments at any time.

It does seem bizarre that they charged you for referencing and have just told you that actually they would usually reject you. Looks like a money making venture for them, if they were aware of your circumstances. Very poor form. I'd be asking for the money back if you're not going to let through them. If you are, you probably need to keep the good feeling.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Thu 11-Aug-16 16:07:48

Did some further digging - it looks like there have been a few tribunal decisions going either way, so it very much depends on who assesses your case.

At the moment, the regulations state if you are married, you are treated as the same household even if you live seperately. There are exceptions for during divorce.

However, it was argued in late 2015 that if one member of the household left to care for his mother, and did not expect to return within 52 weeks, or visit, his income should be disregarded as he now became part of his mothers' household, and not his wives. That was taken to Upper Tribunal, but the decision on the case isn't public.

There was also a case in January 2016 of a husband and wife living in seperate home five hours apart for work reasons. They had no intention of divorcing. She successfully argued for housing benefit, saying they were linked but seperate households, and was granted it. She lost it when the council appealed though, on the grounds that they were still in contact, there were occasional visits and they ARE a married couple, so the Living As Husband and Wife test is irrelevant.

If you'd got written evidence that you'll be entitled, I'd use that to try and get a slip saying you'll be entitled to housing benefit (although the marital home might thwart that). If you don't have it in writing, I'd let this house go and try to get confirmation that they are definitely going to pay if you remain married but live apart, as otherwise you could end up with either a huge overpayment or a horrible judicial argument over entitlement, and neither sounds fun!

DailyMailEthicalFail Thu 11-Aug-16 17:40:09

Okay. We'd be living Separately.
I am moving with children 2 hours away for educational reasons for kids.
We are amicable so I see no need to divorce but wont be living together.
He will visit kids though.

I applied for another house on same basis 2 years ago (same Council, same circs) and was given HB. The landlady decided, after watching 'Britain's Benefit Tenants' that she didn't want someone on benefits. I had a signed Tenancy Agreement. I was advised I could take it to Court but didn't want the hassle. She would only have evicted me for something spurious if I'd pushed it,. Grim.

So, if I qualified 2 years ago, have HB regulations changed since?

DailyMailEthicalFail Thu 11-Aug-16 17:44:21

The basis on which I was granted it last time was that the Marital home went up for sale within 4 weeks of HB being granted.

After 6m if no sale (entirely possible, we are very rural) then the price would have to be dropped until a sale occurred.

I am 35m from the HB office I'd need to go to.
They have no 'one stop' bit at all, it is Dickensian - one (very nice) lady in a cupboard with a biro and some papers, even the computer system was ancient and didn't work.

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