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to bend truth about working when comes to looking at rented houses

(44 Posts)
Phoenix4725 Sat 16-Jan-10 07:49:28

ok go gentle genuine advice please

I had to leave my home and my town suddenly due to violent ex and were now staying at my mums and step dads, we being me , ds15,ds12, dd6 and ds4, they have 2 and a very small box

i am looking for private rented and every house i go look at or phone up about say oh no we wont take benfits .

I am considering telling small white lie and say I am working having housing benefit paid straight to me .anyone else done the same

Am thinking its not techinally a lie , since i am classed as working by the govement/dhss due to the fact am my sons paid carer dont have to tell them its only 17p a hour

crazycat34 Sat 16-Jan-10 07:55:21

I think people refuse HB tenants primarily because they think a) it'll take ages for the HB to come through, it might never come through, and they'll be out of pocket; and b) because they worry HB tenants are lazy workshy layabouts who will drink all day, annoy the neighbours, turn the house into a drug den/brothel, trash the place...

I wouldn't normally advocate lying (and even now my DON'T LIE - YOU'LL GET CAUGHT OUT! alarm bells are ringing but...

I don't know how long it takes for HB to come through. Do you have enough money to cover it if it takes a couple of months so that they'll never know? If you were working and paying rent yourself and then lost your job and relied on HB, would they kick you out? I doubt it. All they're interested in is getting the rent and not having to repair the house when you leave.

Ooh that's a bit garbled. Can you tell I'm not comfortable with the lying bit!!

rainbowinthesky Sat 16-Jan-10 07:59:54

I can see your problem. Don't they need different insurance though as landlords if it's housing benefit?

Phoenix4725 Sat 16-Jan-10 08:03:04

i have checked its taking on average 10 days ,
am currently saving like mad so will be able to cover first months rent, deposit of 6 weeks rent and have alittle bit over and yes if it came to worse could cover another month thought it would be very tight

I dont drink , and at 36 with 4 kids my days of wild partying are long over. Once i can get dc into new schools will look for some p/t work can only be p/t as ds3 has a lot of appoinments , want somewhere as a long term let and a bit of space instead playing sardines ,though folks being very kind about fact we have descended on them en mass

Phoenix4725 Sat 16-Jan-10 08:04:02

no did ask insurance company and landlords dont have to declare who they rented to just fact its let out

LIZS Sat 16-Jan-10 08:06:11

Don't lie, it simply isn't worth it. You can't assume you will get enough hb to fund it each month without gettign caught out. Have you tried HA's or maybe council has a list of agencies/landlords who will take non working families.

nighbynight Sat 16-Jan-10 08:10:07

I would lie if it was fool proof, and I wouldnt get caught out. Once you are in, they will just care about the rent being paid, and nothing else, probably.

I did lie to get a house once, as it is impossible to rent anything with 4 children where we are. Every landlord just refuses as soon as they know how many children you have.

JoeyBettany Sat 16-Jan-10 08:10:57

I'm afraid I'd lie without hesitation, it's shocking the way landlords discriminate against single non-working mums.

is there any chance you could ask anyone to act as a guarantor?

my friend who works in a lettings, says that this often really helps with non-working tenants.

Good luck with your search.

Phoenix4725 Sat 16-Jan-10 08:14:22

council wont help here since my former home was council and Ha are all tied to council they said go back and yours will fit fire extingusher, panic alarms etc all they offered here was to inform ss since i made myself inteionllay homeless , he tried set fire to my house took police 20 mins to get there

here the maxium rent is 1200 for a 4 bed not ideal i know ,

im struggling i admit my lie meters saying dont lie , but my mum meters saying do what i need to get somewhere for my family why having such hard time wrestling with myself.#

Did go see 2 properties that take hb area was shock ,one was flat but and another a town hous neither suitable for ds3 as he has limited moblity

Phoenix4725 Sat 16-Jan-10 08:16:53

My stepdad has already offered to act as a guarantor should i need it though had to laugh one company insisted my guarantor had to earn over 45k per year

Phoenix4725 Sat 16-Jan-10 08:22:46


yes that does seem to be a issue here , i was working till ds3 was born and marriage broke down and i just could not juggle ds3 care and work and at that point i ha dno problems getting anything and was viewed differnt now i seemed to been labled

shoptilidrop Sat 16-Jan-10 09:04:40

Yes, id say lie. But only as if you know that your HB will cover the rent and you will be able to afford it.

Ive been in a similar position myself and it can be really difficult. Its hard to get job/home/schools/childcare all sorted out so they start at exacally the same time. In fact, its almost impossible.

Phoenix4725 Sat 16-Jan-10 09:09:44

Yet to find childcare suitable for ds3 as he needs has littleuseable speech and less understanding than normal 4,7 more like 2year old,hence why stahm
but after thinking about it I am going to lie does not sit natrually but my Kids first will try make sure have a bit more behind me just in case Hb delayed

memoo Sat 16-Jan-10 09:13:27

Not all landlords are like this OP, we rent out a house and would gladly take someone on HB. We don't judge people on their finacial circumstances

Phoenix4725 Sat 16-Jan-10 09:16:00

Memoo got anything on the hearts/essex border *cheeky emotion*

emskaboo Sat 16-Jan-10 09:17:52

I work for the Homeless Unit in a local authority, the decision to find you intentional is totally legally flawed and wide open to challenge. Please contact Shelter on 0808 800 4444 or at As they will be able to offer help and advice around challenging this decision.

You sound as though you are managing everything really well. Look after yourself.

Babieseverywhere Sat 16-Jan-10 09:20:06

I wouldn't lie, as the mortgage provider will have restrictions on what the landlord can do with their house and/or landlord WILL have specific insurance which limits the type of tenants they are allowed to take on.

When you get found out, they will have no choice but to chuck you out, else their house will be unprotected in case of damage or the mortgage withdrawn.

Good luck finding accommodation.

AnnieBeansMum Sat 16-Jan-10 09:22:07

Don't lie. If you rent through an agent, you will have to be referenced and part of the referencing proceedure is an employer reference. If for some reason you get away with it and move in to a property, if/when you get caught the landlord has the right to terminate the tenancy as you falsified information on your application.

Like someone previously said, speak to the council. They usually have a list of HB-friendly agents. Also, check to see if your local council offers a deposit guarantee scheme - this will save you a considerable amount of money at the start of the tenancy.

Good luck!

my only concern with lying is that they may want a reference from your employer.

StrawberriesandCherries Sat 16-Jan-10 09:29:04

Hi Phoenix,

Are you ringing people out of the local newspaper? my friend was in similar position to you and went straight to the local estate agents instead. They may have a list of who is willing to take HB and if you get a good one can sort a lot of things for you.

She also took her mum along when looking at houses(smart professional looking lady with nice car - am only saying this as it helps potential landlords build up more of a picture of you rather than the judgey single mum pic some may have)

She ended up with a lovely 4 bed house. Really hope so

humptynumpty Sat 16-Jan-10 09:30:11

phoenix i really feel for you. We have been in similar situation where trying to rent with no fixed job sorted. It is hard but you will find something in the end. Does the council have a list of approved landlords or similar? I know some do? Or a notice board displaying suitable landlords who don't mind HB?
Have you tried gumtree website? We have looked there before... I would stay away from agencies ime they won't look twice at you.
Good luck

StrawberriesandCherries Sat 16-Jan-10 09:31:13

That was an odd ending, sorry!

Meant to say really hope it works out for you

PDR Sat 16-Jan-10 09:52:40

When we rented out our house our insurance company asked us if the tennants would be working or in receipt of housing benefit so it might have some effect on the landlord's buildings insurance....

Not that I think landlord's should be able to discriminate against people in recepit of housing benefit at all (or with children!)

Re the income required for a guarantor, I am not surprised it's £45K, if the houses are around £1200/pcm because they calculate it as a multiple of your income, so YOU would need an income of say 1.5 times the monthly rent and any guarantor would need a multiple of say 3 times the monthly rent as they realise he/she has their own monthly commitments as well.

My advice would be to contact Women's Aid as they work with the police and they may be able to help mediate with the council.

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 16-Jan-10 09:59:04

You need to try and find one that will accept DSS, the council should have a list of landlords who will rent to people on benefits.

There are lots of insurance policies and mortgages that do exclude this type of tennant and lying will mean you could be putting their house at risk in the event of a fire, flood etc.

Whilst you may not be claiming JSA, you are not in paid employment in the sense that you have a salary coming in. Carers benefit will not be classed as employment for the sake of finance checks etc. Many landlords now ask for references, proof of salary etc so you would be found out anyway.

PDR Sat 16-Jan-10 09:59:08

Also, if you say you're working, they will want to know for whom, their address, phone number etc and the credit ref agency will call them....
They will also see from your bank statements that there is no salary coming in....

I remember we had one tennant who didn't quite meet the affordability criterea, ie 1.5 times the monthly rent, but she showed us 6 months bank statements which showed salary, tax credits etc all coming in and t'was fine.

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