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To not tell the landlord that I am on housing benefit?

(45 Posts)
Rosiegregory Thu 02-Nov-17 15:06:58

I have just found the perfect maisonette for myself and my daughter after months of searching. I have found a few other properties prior to this and went through the entire application process before being rejected at the last moment once they discovered that part of my rent would be paid by HB. I am a well educated woman but due to my cheating husband leaving us last year, my income just doesn’t cover the full rent.

Am I being unreasonable to just not mention the fact that part of the rent will be topped up by HB?

Also if I do go down the route of not telling the landlord, is there anyway that they can find out that I am on HB? I will be specifying that HB does not contact my landlord on my behalf.

Birdsgottafly Thu 02-Nov-17 15:11:27

I thought that the application process would show up the need for benefits, but I suppose you could say that your Maintenance covers the difference?

In the one hand, your tenancy could be terminated on the LL finding out.

But, my DD is looking to rent and it's really difficult to find a property at the right price.

SloeSloeQuickQuickGin Thu 02-Nov-17 15:12:24

I am a well educated woman but due to my cheating husband leaving us last year, my income just doesn’t cover the full rent.

I hate to tell it like it is, but your circumstances are irrelevent to the landlord. They will ask you to provide proof of income and references. You have already said your income doesnt cover the rent. No one is going to rent you a property of eg £1000 a month when you earn eg £900, or even £1,100

FWIW - if your income doesnt cover the % needed then they are likely to decline if you have no guarantors. My friend had to pay 6 months up front, or rather her parents had to put marginally over 6K down for her.

I did it OP though I’d been there 3 years before I needed housing benefit due to hours being cut in the department I worked in. The landlord nor the letting agents ever knew.

Wormulonian Thu 02-Nov-17 15:26:15

Depends what checks the agent carries out. Do they do an affordability test on the a multiple of the rent and your income? You might fail that without acknowledging the top up. You may have to lie on the agent's forms. However, many people do it as it can be the only way to get a rental. When my income was deemed too low by agents for the rent, I had to pay 6 months rent upfront.

Some Buy to let mortgages and insurance policies state you can't rent to certain people - you could invalidate the LL's insurance or right to rent the property. If they found out they would probably have to evict you.

You don't have to tell the LL you get HB if it is sent direct to you. I think since it is a top up HB that it would be less of a problem for a LL than someone on full HB as you are probably in work etc so more likely to meet their mortgage/insurance criteria.

You could check with Shelter about the latest thinking on this and the likelihood of HB ever contacting the LL.

ScoobyDoosTinklyLaugh Thu 02-Nov-17 15:32:50

I've done it in the past. I'd get a friend to ring and enquire about the property and whether they would let them have it while they were recieving Hb. If they wouldn't allow it I'd lie on the application, you've got nothing to lose.

puddingpen Thu 02-Nov-17 15:33:53

Nothing to say you have to tell the landlord, but most rentals require proof of income - payslips, references, etc. Unless you have someone who could act as a guarantor. That is a big ask of somebody though.

allwornout0 Thu 02-Nov-17 15:37:42

If you are asked if you are receiving any HB (top up or full) I would never lie and pretend you don't.
It would not get you off to a good start with the LL or lettings agent and I would imagine you would risk eviction.
Just be truthful and explain that you receive a top up or can pay so many months up front etc I think you'll probably find most LL would rather a potential tenant be truthful and honest from the start before deciding who to rent to.
Good Luck

Littleelffriend Thu 02-Nov-17 15:38:50

A lot of landlord insurance doesn’t allow benefits so it’s not really fair if the landlord has to make a claim

EmpressOfTheSpartacusOceans Thu 02-Nov-17 15:39:58

When I rented a new flat recently I had to provide three months' payslips & bank statements, plus the contact details for my bank. It would have been impossible to keep that secret.

Also what Wormulonian said about some landlords' mortgages & insurance properties not allowing HB. It's absolutely not fair but there it is.

moonmaker Thu 02-Nov-17 15:40:26

They can’t find out and you can’t be blamed but most landlords ask for job references and proof of employment

kinkajoukid Thu 02-Nov-17 15:42:09

Don't lie about it if asked outright (although I know this puts you in the awful position of frequently being turned down) but if they don't ask, then I don't think you need to say. People often sadly jump to conclusions if you mention it.

If information is pertinent to the LL, then the responsibility is on the LL to ask.

In this day and age so many working people need an HB top up that LLs have a responsibility to operate their business in the same, real world that their tenants have to live in.

safariboot Thu 02-Nov-17 15:42:17

I'm sorry about your situation. Unfortunately a lot of buy-to-let mortgage lenders and landlord insurers discriminate against potential tenants on benefits. And then there are landlords who are biased all by themselves. Even though it indirectly discriminates against women, the disabled, and others, it's not illegal.

If you're asked a question and outright lie and get find out, then as mentioned I expect you could end up evicted.

Sunnyshores Thu 02-Nov-17 15:47:58

If its not on the form and youre not asked, there is no reason to specifically tell the Agent. But I cant see how a reputable agent with a decent ll (and thus for your benefit a decent property) would not ask this and wouldnt ask for bank statements which would show it - and you cant lie on the forms and get a tenancy by default. You would be evicted pronto.

Why is so many peoples default position to lie when you cant get something you want

TsunamiOfShit Thu 02-Nov-17 15:48:44

A lot of landlord insurance doesn’t allow benefits so it’s not really fair if the landlord has to make a claim

Is that really true? I struggle to see how that can be a clause in the insurance, when it is not something the landlord would necessarily be aware of.

Even if you don't receive housing benefit when you take on the tenancy, things can change and you might need benefits at a later date. How would the landlord know?

And if you do tell the landlord, he can't evict you anyway so what is he going to do?

I think it's a myth that insurance or mortgage companies has a 'no benefits' clause, simply because it would not be feasible or enforceable.

TsunamiOfShit Thu 02-Nov-17 15:50:11

Why is so many peoples default position to lie when you cant get something you want

Because it's better than being homeless.

Littleelffriend Thu 02-Nov-17 15:55:16

Tsunami of course it’s true otherwise why would I say it

JacquesHammer Thu 02-Nov-17 15:56:46

I think it's a myth that insurance or mortgage companies has a 'no benefits' clause

It isn't a myth. When I was a conveyancer it was a very common clause in BTL mortgage offers. Indeed when I was a LL myself our mortgages made the same requirements

TonicandLime Thu 02-Nov-17 16:01:51

Is that really true? I struggle to see how that can be a clause in the insurance, when it is not something the landlord would necessarily be aware of.

My Landlord insurance will not allow me to rent to people out of work. I don't know about mortgages as don't have one on the property/

TsunamiOfShit Thu 02-Nov-17 16:02:23

It isn't a myth. When I was a conveyancer it was a very common clause in BTL mortgage offers. Indeed when I was a LL myself our mortgages made the same requirements

What was the procedure when a tenant started receiving benefits in the middle of the tenancy? Was the tenant evicted or would you have had to remortgage?

PinkHeart5914 Thu 02-Nov-17 16:07:04

You will have to prove you can afford the rent, With all my tenants they have had to show they can afford the rent to the estate agent they don’t just get given the keys to my property.

Surely Even a landlord that doesn’t use an estate agent is going to want proof you can afford the rent.

You don’t earn enough without a benefit top up so your wage slips/bank statements will show this

justforthisthread101 Thu 02-Nov-17 16:11:03

I think it's a myth that insurance or mortgage companies has a 'no benefits' clause

It is absolutely not a myth. The terms of our mortgage are very clear on this.

Please don't lie OP, it could get your landlord into a lot of trouble and end up with you not having a home.

What was the procedure when a tenant started receiving benefits in the middle of the tenancy? Was the tenant evicted or would you have had to remortgage?

I don't know....and it's a good question. I've just checked the tenancy agreement and it doesn't actually say that they have to tell us, so notionally, if that happened during the tenancy, we'd never know.

JacquesHammer Thu 02-Nov-17 16:18:19

What was the procedure when a tenant started receiving benefits in the middle of the tenancy? Was the tenant evicted or would you have had to remortgage?

No renewal of tenancy. As part of the agreement we could only offer AST of 6 months anyway

soapboxqueen Thu 02-Nov-17 16:19:41

More than likely it will come up when you apply. You have to show you can afford the property.
.
It isn't a myth that some mortgages and insurances don't allow hb tenants. I would expect it to come up in the credit check. If it came up and I allowed the tenancy to go ahead, I would invalidate my insurance. If I found out later I would be on to the EA as to why this wasn't flagged.
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I would look to serve notice at the earliest opportunity.

TsunamiOfShit Thu 02-Nov-17 16:23:53

No renewal of tenancy. As part of the agreement we could only offer AST of 6 months anyway

1. I have never heard of landlords carrying out the referencing process again at the end of each 6 month period. It has never happened to me anyway and I have been renting for the last 10 years.

2. You would have to serve a section 21 at the end of the tenancy so that would be at least another 2 months at the end of the 6 months if the tenant fail the second referencing.

(I do not personally receive any benefits so this does not affect me, it just sounds unenforceable and a silly rule tat makes a lot of people worry. I also own property, just not the one I live in.)

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