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to think this woman is taking the mick?

(8 Posts)
valhala Thu 08-Oct-09 22:36:46

This is cheating a bit because I would genuinlely appreciate some advice to pass on as well as be told if its reasonable to be cross and concerned or not!

I'm asking on the behalf of a good pal who has been speaking about her difficulties recently and has just emailed me the latest dilemmma, so apologies in advance if anyone asks me a question and I say, "Errrr, I dunno!".

Its a long 'un, so apologies for that too but, in as much of a nutshell as possible, my pal (A) has 3 children, aged 6, 13 and 14 and was until very recently on Income Support due to health reasons. A couple of weeks ago her DP (M), moved into A's rented house with with her and her DC. In doing so he had to give up his job as the move was one of over 100 miles, in the expectation of finding another close to his new home very soon after.

M had been living in a house-share arrangement with his ex prior to this (they have no children). This was for financial reasons - he and his ex are joint-mortgagees so when the relationship broke down it made sense for him to stay put, continue paying half the mortgage but for them to lead independent lives. The plan was that when he moved in with A, his ex would take over the mortgage, leaving him to find work asap and start his new life with A, paying the rent and all the things that DPs do in when they have a SAH partner and kids to provide for.

Problem is that M has some health issues and is finding getting a new job harder than he imagined. Of course A informed the benefits agency that her circumstances had changed when M moved in and was initially told that all would be fine, they could claim as a couple until M found work and that the rent would be covered by housing benefit.

However, the house he has just left and has a mortgage on is in negative equity. According to his ex, in order to get his name off of the mortgage, she would have to re-mortgage (excuse the grammar), and she says that she won't/can't take this route as she wouldn't be able to afford the payments on the new arrangement. As a result of M still being on the mortgage for a house 100 miles away that he no longer even has keys to, the DWP say that he is deemed to have capital and so they will not pay him any rent on his and A's home.

I confess here that I'm a bit confused. I didn't think to ask A but I assume that as she and M are a couple they must claim jointly for the family, or that M must claim for them all, which means that if he is refused housing benefit then A gets none either. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

All this is despite the fact that he gave the ex money amounting to 3 months rent on the day he moved out, and she moved a new partner into her home a couple of weeks later.

That A and M have been told that M can't have any help with the rent now that he's moved in with A is worrying her sick. Is Ms ex being unreasonable? Or are A (and therefore I, because I am worried for her) being unreasonable? More importantly, is there anything M can do to get around this problem (legally of course!)?

SixtyFootDoll Thu 08-Oct-09 22:38:43

Oh god I'm sorry cannotbe bothered to reaad all that

BoysAreLikeDogs Thu 08-Oct-09 22:39:25

I think they need to go to CAB

benefits can be v confusing partic when capital/mortgages are involved

can't you just make sympathetic noises to your friend? I would.

BiteOfFun Thu 08-Oct-09 22:41:27

I'm not entirely sure, but if he is no longer in the property and ex can't buy him out, he will have to see a solicitor about forcing a sale.

He might have to stay with friends or in cheap lodgings in the mean time so your friend can re-claim her IS, but Citizen's Advice should be able to help.

skybright Thu 08-Oct-09 22:43:07

The ex is being unreasonable,not idea about the legality's but could she not put her new partner on the mortgage (even if just on paper iyswim).

DuelingFANGo Thu 08-Oct-09 22:47:32

Have you posted about this before? It seems familiar.

valhala Thu 08-Oct-09 22:53:10

Love the name DuelingFANGo! No, I haven't posted this before but I hope to goodness no other beggar is experiencing a similar problem.

A has contacted the CAB and the Legal Advice Centre or somesuch but they have given conflicting advice apparently and none of it very constructive though I am sure they have tried their best.

M fears that he won't be able to see a solicitor as he cannot afford it, though I feel he may be entitled to legal aid surely?

An additional problem is that one of his health conditions is depression and he is also very proud, just desperate to work and provide for the family and has a great tendency to stick his head in the sand and can't cope with meetings and phone conversations to address the problem.. and of course A, a quiet and shy lady anyway, can only do so much as a lot of the things will need to be discussed with M not her.

valhala Thu 08-Oct-09 22:55:40

Skybright, I don't know if it is legallly possible for the ex to put her new DP on the mortgage - as to whether it is possible and she won't do it, or whether it isn't allowed anyway, she's not saying. She's a bit of an awkward so and so from what I gather.

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