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Housing benefit when you have a mortgage

(19 Posts)
glitch Sun 01-Jan-12 18:44:45

It is really likely that myself and my DH will be separating this year. We own a house together but there is no equity in it. I think it is probably better for myself and my DS to move out as I am a SAHM and I don't think I can afford to live in our existing house on my own. I have an income of about £800 a month from DLA, carer's allowance and a part time job so I'm thinking we might be able to live somewhere if I claim housing benefit.

Does anyone know if I would be better to get my name taken off the mortgage in order to claim housing benefit? Also, are you allowed to claim housing benefit if you leave a house voluntarily (we are splitting as a mutual decision not as a result of another woman / man or abuse etc). Could I put in a request for a council house / housing association house whilst we have a roof over our heads?

Sorry, more questions than I thought then. I just want to be prepared for when I have to make final decisions about what we do so any advice gratefully received.


Bossybritches22 Sun 01-Jan-12 18:56:52

Could you afford to stay if you got a lodger in?

It might be worth getting legal advice before you do anything. You can get a free first hour.

workshy Sun 01-Jan-12 19:00:49

you say you claim carers allowance etc? would you be able to approach the council based on a social need?

Earlybird Sun 01-Jan-12 19:06:29

Won't your dh contribute anything?

mrsfollowill Sun 01-Jan-12 19:12:19

For Housing (and Council Tax) Benefit the 'former marital home' is disregarded for the first six months following your separation (the reasons for the split don't matter to the Council)

It doesn't matter if your name is still on the mortgage either.
After the first six months the council would look at your situation again. If the house is up for sale it can be disregarded for a further six months initially - but this time limit can be extended at the discretion of the council.

They would do a valuation of the property and need to see evidence of how much mortgage is outstanding- if there is no equity you can continue to claim HB.

I don't know about if owning the property will go against you when applying for Social Housing but this situation is quite common so maybe ask the lettings dept of your council?

You should also contact tax credits to see if you can get help from them. The pages at have loads more info and some online calculators. Good luck.

glitch Sun 01-Jan-12 19:24:20

Thanks for replying.
I wouldn't be able to take on the mortgage myself (£250k), I think I'd be better off just renting somewhere and I'm not sure I want an ongoing joint financial commitment with my DH.
He will help me financially but a 2 bed house to rent is £750 - £800 a month so even with help I'm going to struggle I think which is why I need to look at HB.
I've not considered a lodger but again, I wouldn't be able to get the mortgage transferred to me and I'm not sure anyone would or could live with my DS smile.
That is a relief to see the house isn't considered for 6 months so I don't have to worry about not getting HB based on that.
Going to look at the directgov website now.

GypsyMoth Sun 01-Jan-12 19:26:49

Is it so simple then? To just get your name removed from a mortgage? ( I have no idea)

RockChick1984 Sun 01-Jan-12 19:38:09

Your local council should have the hb rates on their website, may be worthwhile looking at these to see how much you will get if you qualify, as I know where I live the hb doesn't come anywhere near covering the cost of private renting, unless you live in the worst locations. At least this way you will know if you are able to private rent or if you are going to be looking at council as your only real option. As long as your dh passes income and credit score he can take the mortgage into his sole name.

glitch Sun 01-Jan-12 19:53:34

I'm assuming that he can take my name off it. He earns enough to take it on himself as I think we remortgaged whilst I've been a SAHM.
I've checked the rate and it is £173 / week so about £50 short a month for a private rent.

youngermother1 Sun 01-Jan-12 20:18:12

Banks tend to be reluctant to take someone off a mortgage - things change and they like as many people as possible liable for the debt.
I suspect it is possible, but you may have to go beyond the initial call, or your DH may be able to remortgage on his own (unlikely if no equity)

RedHelenB Mon 02-Jan-12 08:46:08

If your ex wants to take over the mortgage & is able to do so, all you need to do is to is sign to say so at the mortgage company & then again for the legal forms.

glitch Mon 02-Jan-12 11:53:23

I've asked him so he is going to speak to the mortgage company. It will probably make it easier that my income isn't vast!!

HappyMummyOfOne Tue 03-Jan-12 11:41:37

If you simply transfer the whole mortgage to him and sign over your equity you will fall foul of the deprevation of capital rule.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 03-Jan-12 13:21:18

I took over the mortgage from my ex-H when he walked out. There was no equity in the house then either. I had to effectively 'buy him out' i.e. remortgage the property in my sole name, using a relative as guarantor. That was quite some time ago so things may have changed but what I would say is, make sure you get adequate funds from him to house youself and your children properly and not let him fob you off that taking over the mortgage soaks up all his disposable income. It's noble to say you don't want to be tied to him financially but poverty is very depressing.

katrinawild Mon 30-Jul-12 15:21:02

hi.i read your message in january and i was wondering what has happened since as i am in the same situation.

charjimlilalbie Sat 18-Apr-15 12:44:00

hi i need some help I have a mortgage in my name only I thought it was in joint name wit my ex husband I approached the council in 2012 explained the situ and I privately rented for 2 yrs my landlord then wanted the property back so was evicted and had the baylif etc was going to be placed in emergency acc on the tue but the fri before the council had phoned me to say they would not give me anything due to my name being on the mortgage and land reg my ex husband has been living there for the passed 3 years as I had to move out cause of domestic violence and he has changed the locks to the house the property has always been paid for by him and has since had a stroke and claim dla to pay for the property so as much as I feel he has nowhere to live and he is entiled to live there I would like to transfer the property to his name soley but as he has no job would a mortgage comp be able to to this I now have a new partner and a 7 week old baby and atm living in a shed in my brothers garden which has no toilet wit no water I am having a meeting with cab and going to appeal the council decision but would like some info on transfer the property into his name
many thanks rachel

Brewcaz Mon 21-Dec-15 19:12:37

Does anyone know if i have my name removed from a morgage due to a seperation i am living in private rented now with the kids work part time but can't claim HB as my name on morgage . I still get on with the x and i don't care for the morgaged house sold as he has the kids weekends and holidays i don't want to fight he paid it anyway for all these years so makes no odds to me . I worried that if i sign over i stll wont get HB because i just let it go .i struggling to pay with working part time and having kids i could use the help of HB,

Rockchick1984 Wed 23-Dec-15 12:45:27

Brewcaz is there any equity in the property?

DeoGratias Thu 24-Dec-15 19:26:34

Most mortgage lenders will not necessarily agree to take someone off a mortgage as it means they just have one person to sue if it all goes wrong rather than two. However they might do if it is in the context of a divorce and you have no income anyway.

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