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Rented accommodation - change of circumstances

(15 Posts)
N3ll1e Fri 18-Dec-15 23:22:24

If you live in rented accommodation, can the landlord evict you if you have to go onto HB?

There are no arrears and it will be temporary whilst on maternity leave.

WeAreEternal Sat 19-Dec-15 06:02:43

Yes if they can not or will not accept housing benefits.

Most people seem to be under the impression that landlords who refuse to accept HB are just mean, but actually a large percentage of mortgage and insurance companies have clauses in their polices prohibiting letting to benefit claiming tenants.

If you have no other options but to claim housing benefit then you have no choice but to tell the landlord and hope for the best.
If this is the case and you are a good tenant they may be willing to look into changing a policy but it is usually more expensive so it may help if you offer to pay the difference.

Alternatively you could offer to sign a contract stating how temporary the benefits will be claimed for and saying that you will move out if they are still being claimed after three months or however long.

Whatever you do don't lie and hide it (which I see advised frequently on MN) you could end up voiding your LL's insurance policy or mortgage if you do.

Tiggeryoubastard Sun 20-Dec-15 00:36:28

A landlord can evict you for any or no reason. It's his/her property. But as stated above, it may not be their choice, due to the terns of their mortgage.

greenfolder Sun 20-Dec-15 00:40:13

Hiding it is one thing but how would a landlord know that housing benefit is being claimed? Genuinely interested as hB is an in work benefit. How is that different to tax credits or similar?

N3ll1e Sun 20-Dec-15 16:41:16

Thanks for the information.

The property was taken on honestly - but now I am pregnant I will have to be claiming whilst on maternity, so it won't be forever. But obviously I really don't want to move.

Penfold007 Sun 20-Dec-15 16:51:17

Check the details of your lease. If the LL won't/can't accept HB then inform them you are pregnant and they can then serve you with the correct paper work (S21 notice?). You then take this as a matter of urgency to the council and apply to go on the housing register. It isn't an easy route but the council will have to help you. Are you facing this on your own?

Sammy1888 Sun 20-Dec-15 17:03:04

My council told me not to disclose the fact that I was on HB. There is a bit on the form where you say you don't want your LL to know. Very easy to say get evicted and get a council house, but in my area at least, I was expected to live in a rat infested hostel on the 8th floor with no lift, sharing a bathroom with drug addicts and people on tag etc. who would bang on my door and be abusive, for at least two years - whilst heavily pregnant, and then with my baby/ toddler.

Might not be the most moral thing to do, but as long as you're still planning to pay your rent on time, and you have to choose between not disclosing it or bringing your baby up in an environment like the one I described above, I know which I would choose.

Choughed Sun 20-Dec-15 21:52:46

Just don't disclose it. I'm a LL btw.

specialsubject Mon 21-Dec-15 13:02:26

this is the worst advice ever - if there is an insurance claim (fire, flood, whatever) then it may be refused and the landlord will have no property, while the tenant has no home.

from the tenant's point of view it is tenancy breach to lie -out on ear. Being charitable, the council may not be aware of all this.

good old-fashioned communication here - contact the landlord, explain the situation, work with him/her to see what can be done. If you are a good tenant (you sound it) then there is every incentive to try to keep you.

Choughed Tue 22-Dec-15 09:33:03

Specialsubject, possibly, but in all my years of landlord-ing and my many insurance claims, including two house fires started by idiot tenants, never has an insurer asked to see proof of earnings from my tenants.

Choughed Tue 22-Dec-15 09:35:21

And tenants can be given notice to quit with 2 months notice for no reason whatsoever, not sure how the OP is making herself less vulnerable to eviction by not disclosing HB. Rental protection is shit in this country and needs to be changed.

Shakey15000 Tue 22-Dec-15 09:36:52

Absolutely be honest, err on the side of caution for insurance purposes etc.

For what it's worth, I'm also a LL and if my tenant explained the same circumstances, it wouldn't bother me one iota. She's a great tenant.

HeadDreamer Tue 22-Dec-15 09:39:47

I wouldn't disclose it.

As you say, you'll be back to work after your maternity leave. I wouldn't want to live in temporary accommodation either.

It's a totally different situation if you actually want a council house and are in private rental. In that case, then going homeless will bump you up a band in the queue.

specialsubject Tue 22-Dec-15 11:24:00

good news that most insurers will pay up. But having an uninsured house burn to the ground is not a risk I'd want to take.

BTW my insurers will take HB tenants under certain circumstances.

boring facts; get a longer tenancy agreed and then the 'bastard landlord throws me out at 2 months notice for no reason' doesn't apply. The protections ARE there.

and the idea that there is a big pile of council houses awaiting the evicted is also fantasy. It would be a hostel or a b and b.

WeAreEternal Thu 24-Dec-15 12:14:30

Please do not take the advice that suggests lying and hiding it from your landlord, chances are they will accept it as a temporary situation and be fine with it but if it invalidates their mortgage or insurance you will be putting yourself in a much worse situation if they find out in the future and you have lied.

If a good tenant came to me and explain your situation I would happily try to accommodate them, if I found out a tenant was claiming benifits and had failed to tell me I would evict them without discussion, which is something I have done in the past.

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