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to be stressed out that I can't pay my rent

(36 Posts)
NotASausageLeft Tue 21-Jul-09 18:44:39

and when I hope to be able to pay it, it will be 17 days overdue and my contract says that the letting agent can storm the house if it is more than 7 days late [am shitting myself BTW!].I am a lone parent and am having to live on benefits and child tax credits until I can find another job [was made redundant in Feb]. 

Anyhow tax credits stopped my payments without telling me at the end on June [should have got £520] and finally after 2 weeks I got £55 from them with a letter saying my payments would be reduced to £28 every 4 weeks. I think they may have overpaid me but have had nothing explaining this or giving me a chance to dispute it.  The complete fuckwits (no offence to anyone who works there who is on here of course) on the helpline have no idea what is happening and how long it will take to reinstate my payments.  Had to get someone from Income Support to ring them and 'remind' them that as I am on IS, they must pay me the minimum amount as I am below the poverty level with their payments. One week later, still nothing!

I will now have to tell my letting agent that I cannot pay my rent as I am having to use my housing benefit for food! My mum has said she can lend me some money but I will have to wait until she gets paid which will make it 17 days overdue.  I have always paid my rent on time and am worried they will kick me out of the house.  FFS I can't even take the kids to my parents for a few weeks or take them anywhere in fact as I have no money and it's the bloody school holidays.  AIBU to want to drive to the HMRC offices and smash all the windows (oh, can't cos no money for the petrol!). Commiserate with me pleaseeee!!

sarah293 Tue 21-Jul-09 18:47:13

Message withdrawn

NotASausageLeft Tue 21-Jul-09 18:48:41

Oh and it's been raining here for what seems like the last year (probably been 2 weeks) and it supposed to be the fecking height of summer!!

AnarchyAunt Tue 21-Jul-09 18:49:27


Just so you know, the letting agent cannot storm the house if you are a week late, whatever they have written into the contract.

Put your issue with the tax credits people in writing, they tend to take it more seriously and also can't bullshit you as much when they know there is a record of what they are saying.

Katerina75 Tue 21-Jul-09 18:49:38

sounds crappy sad - is there any way you can get a crisis loan from DWP to use for food so you can get the rent paid?

CarGirl Tue 21-Jul-09 18:50:08

yes ask the benefits office for an emergency loan.

LoveMyGirls Tue 21-Jul-09 18:53:31

What about ebay? If you put as much stuff on as you can with a 3 day listing? Every little helps?

Have your family/ friends got anything they don't want anymore that they wouldn't mind you selling rather than them taking it to the chairty shop?

brandonsflower Tue 21-Jul-09 18:55:38

Sorry you're in such a crappy situation sad I was the same last month.
I couldn't get a crisis loan or budgeting loan though, as apparently they will only give loans to secure fresh accomodation- so maybe don't say it's for rent, if at all poss?

I ended up getting a provident loan, which no doubt will make it even worse next month ( please, please do not do this!)

Hope you get something sorted.

NotASausageLeft Tue 21-Jul-09 18:56:02

I have written them a letter (I actually took it into my local tax office to speed things up) and guess what? I got a letter back saying they received my letter on the 6th July and they had until the 25th August to deal with it angry.

I have spoken to the DWP but they did not mention anything about a loan. Will contact them again tomorrow and see.

I bloody hate this. I would rather not be at beholden to the bloody system but can't find a job, grrrrrrr!

scaryteacher Tue 21-Jul-09 18:57:41

If you are on IS, why are you not claiming for housing benefit? That is separate to tax credits and is administered by the council not HMRC.

Boys2mam Tue 21-Jul-09 19:04:49

Crisis loan is the way to go until you get your tax credits sorted, as far as I am aware you can apply for these on a fortnightly basis and can be repaid from your benefits.

Hope you get sorted, just keep phoning Tax Credits, they can keep you posted. As a lone parent on IS and TC you should find you are entitled to a whole lot more than £28!! ( is pretty accurate IME)

Boys2mam Tue 21-Jul-09 19:06:43

Oh, and speak to your Landlord, 17 days late is probably nothing to them (when some tenants are no doubt a lot later than this at times).

katiestar Tue 21-Jul-09 19:09:37

I used to be alandlord and have had this problem with tenants.they have to be 8 weeks behind before you can do anything.Tell your landlord the situation and pay the money as ss soon as you can.

brandonsflower Tue 21-Jul-09 19:11:02

You fit the criteria for a crisis loan though ( no food money a definate crisis!) so do find out about that- may just sort it for you ( as long as you have been on IS for 6 monts+)

Know what you mean about feeling beholden- it's horrible isn't it?

katiestar Tue 21-Jul-09 19:12:38

Oh and write to the tax credit people explaining your situation and tell them that you are copying this letter to your MP.I did this when tax credits ballsed up my payments and they were on the phone apologising profusely and put my claim to the top of the pile.

LIZS Tue 21-Jul-09 19:13:59

scaryteacher, op does get hb but is using that to eat in absence of other income. Can you contact Shelter, agency cannot just access the house if you default, procedures , warnings and eventually a court process have to be gone through first legally. You need to get somewhere in person , be it CAB , town hall, DSS to negotiate in person and establish your rights.

RumourOfAHurricane Tue 21-Jul-09 19:18:42

Message withdrawn

brandonsflower Tue 21-Jul-09 19:20:53

Oops ignore the 6+ month bit- that is for budgeting loans.

idranktheteaatwork Tue 21-Jul-09 19:24:21

Agree with shineon, contact your mp, you can email him/her tonight and you will get a response tomorrow.

So at the moment you are getting income support, child benefit and housing benefit? Is there no way you can work out a food and travel etc budget so that you can pay something towards the rent.
Priority bills are food, housing and council tax, the rest can wait until you get your money through.

katiestar Tue 21-Jul-09 19:26:38

'Agree with shineon, contact your mp, you can email him/her tonight and you will get a response tomorrow'

um excuse me Mrs tea drinker I said it first (wink)

Natt82 Tue 21-Jul-09 19:33:48

Our council do crisis loans if you've been on IS for a few months

But they also do a housing benefit discretionary payment - had to really go through their website to find out about it - but its basically a lump sum (often non repayable) if there are special circumstances and your housing benefit/IS is not enough. We were going to apply when we moved house.

The DWP might not know about it - we found out about it from our local council, as they are the ones who deal with housing benefit.

Oh, and try not to worry about them storming the house - you have to be 2 months behind to even get a notice of possession, and another 2 months after that before you can get a court order and normally another month after that before you can enlist baliffs and change locks/enter house. One missed payment should not be too bad.

idranktheteaatwork Tue 21-Jul-09 19:37:25

Sorry Katiestar. blush

Katerina75 Tue 21-Jul-09 19:49:46

Discretionary housing benefit is a possibility but not all councils offer it & they administer it in different ways - some in a lump sum, some as a top up to your normal hb payments over a few weeks or months. Well worth asking about it.

RumourOfAHurricane Tue 21-Jul-09 20:50:09

Message withdrawn

MummyDragon Tue 21-Jul-09 21:41:50

Just a quickie OP: I rent out a house, and I would not dream of storming it if the tenants paid the rent 17 days late. Particularly if they explained that it was due to a balls-up at the benefits office. Not that you necessarily want to go into your personal circumstances with your landlord/letting agent, but as long as you pay what you owe before the next rent payment is due, you will be OK. I think you have to be several months in arrears before they can initiate court proceedings against you. I hope this gets sorted out soon for you.

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