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To consider not taking this house

(80 Posts)
Emerald31 Sun 26-Feb-17 10:37:56

So, me and my DC live in a private rented house. We have been here for a few years and although we love it, the rent is becoming unaffordable. I registered with council housing a few years ago and I have finally been offered a house. I am really happy but my issue is that I thought that by moving with the council I'd be financially better off not having to pay a high private rent. I claim housing benefit and I was told by a few people that my HB would not go down if I moved to a cheaper home but I spoke with HB on Friday and they said that my HB will go down to reflect my drop in rent. Now I understand this in theory but how then is moving from private rented to council affordable? I worked out I would have been around £400 a month better off by moving but now I'll be a grand total of 7.23 a month better off. One of my friends is saying she wouldn't move as I'd be no better off financially but then another friend is saying think long term and that once I go back to work full time (I'm part time at the minute) I probably won't be entitled to any HB anyway but long term I'd have a low rent is read of a high one. I really want the house but I don't know what to do. AIBU here?

Wishiwasmoiradingle2017 Sun 26-Feb-17 10:40:25

Council offer long term security, and your friend is right that one day you might be paying your own rent which will be easier to manage from the council - maybe check the council tax from each house to see how much difference there is on paying that too.

OurBlanche Sun 26-Feb-17 10:42:29

Move. Take the relative security of the council house. especially as you like it.

Your 2nd friend seems to have the sense of the long term benefits. I'm not too sure why anyone would recommend staying in private renting when a nice council house has been offered!

Emerald31 Sun 26-Feb-17 10:43:06

Our council tax in our current house is £1500 so around £125 a month over 12 months. We get a little bit of help towards that so pay £100 a month. The council tax band for the new house is the lowest band which in theory would mean is save £40-£50 a month but the woman said because of my drop in rent and income I'd pay full council tax which would be £90 a month. So now better of there either really.

harderandharder2breathe Sun 26-Feb-17 10:43:30

Yabu if you expected HB to not decrease to reflect the actual cost of your rent. Why on earth shouldn't it?

But council renting is much more secure than renting privately, you want the house, and a lower rent is better long term if your situation changes so you're paying your own rent.

Emerald31 Sun 26-Feb-17 10:43:31

I'm just a bit too

Emerald31 Sun 26-Feb-17 10:44:17

A bit disappointed that meant to say. As I've paid such high rent for years. I thought I'd be a bit better off but it's given with one hand and taken with another.

Whiterabbitears Sun 26-Feb-17 10:44:51

Take the council house. Private landlords can jack the rent up and have you out when ever they please, there is no security at all. Council houses are so hard to get now so I would take it. Your friend is right, you may not always get HB especially with all the changes to benefits, so a council rent would be more affordable.

Emerald31 Sun 26-Feb-17 10:45:29

When I moved to my current house which is more in rent than my last one my HB didn't increase so I just assumed that if I moved to a cheaper house it wouldn't decrease.

SparklyLeprechaun Sun 26-Feb-17 10:46:13

If your landlord puts the house on the market and you can't find anyone to rent to a person on HB, what then? Take the council home, your friend talks sense.

WorraLiberty Sun 26-Feb-17 10:46:47

I agree with friend number 2.

The long term security is worth its weight in gold.

SaucyJack Sun 26-Feb-17 10:47:02

I don't understand- did you think HB was paid at a set rate (like say child benefit), and you'd get to pocket the difference?

I'm afraid it seems very obvious to me that that wouldn't be the case.

Do you like the new house? I reckon you should move anyway. Private rents just seem to be going up and up and up, and benefits are being capped left, right and centre. Seems that it would be prudent long-term to be able to rent a place that you can afford without benefits.

Emerald31 Sun 26-Feb-17 10:47:04

I do work as well so it's not as though I'm on full HB. I get what you're saying though.

Babymamamama Sun 26-Feb-17 10:47:42

Take the council house. Think of the longer term stability. And controlled rent. Privately you could be kicked out at any point or rent hiked up.

Emerald31 Sun 26-Feb-17 10:48:36

It must be a bit different for council housing as like I said I used to private rent a cheaper house and the moved here but my HB didn't go up to reflect the increased rent.

Trainspotting1984 Sun 26-Feb-17 10:50:21

I'm a bit confused- HB is to pay your rent. Did you think you could keep the excess to spend on other things?

CosyNook Sun 26-Feb-17 10:50:56

You could also purchase your Council House in the future.

Trainspotting1984 Sun 26-Feb-17 10:51:00

Cross posted with saucy jack!

SaucyJack Sun 26-Feb-17 10:51:33

There is a maximum rate for HB, so I reckon your last house pushed you over that- and that's why your payments didn't increase.

Emerald31 Sun 26-Feb-17 10:53:01

What I thought was that they calculated your HB not just based on your rent but also on your income, how many children you have etc and it was a the amount you're entitled to because of your circumstances. Like I said my HB didn't go up when I moved to a more expensive house so I just assumed it was the same the other way around. Clearly I've misunderstood.

Emerald31 Sun 26-Feb-17 10:53:34

Ah I get you Saucy.

tygr Sun 26-Feb-17 10:54:14

YABU. Housing benefit isn't just free money - it's to pay rent to keep a roof over your head.

Council houses are like gold dust. You'd be mad to turn it down if you like it.

Emerald31 Sun 26-Feb-17 10:55:43

I maybe expected it to go down a little but not £400 a month.

BaronessBomburst Sun 26-Feb-17 10:55:52

HB is capped. They won't pay more than £x for a one bed properly, a two bed property, a three bed property etc. You might be deemed as requiring a two-bed property but that doesn't mean they'll pay the full rent on a two-bed penthouse.
It may be that you're already on the highest payment, which is why it didn't go up when you moved.
Take the new house. It'll give you far more security. You'll be able to decorate it how you like too!

OurBlanche Sun 26-Feb-17 10:56:28

HB is to pay your rent. Did you think you could keep the excess to spend on other things? I'm not sure how you got to that!

I had read that OP was hoping that she wouldn't have to cover quite as large a rent shortfall out of her wages.

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