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Help with council and landlord, ANY advice welcome

(26 Posts)
lostmumsarah989 Tue 23-Jul-13 22:10:44

Hi, I've not been on here for a while but need some help with my current housing situation.... Iv privately rented for nearly 6 years, currently in receipt of full HB but my landlord has just informed me that he plans on putting the rent up, told him I couldn't afford to pay anything myself as I'm in a lot of debt. Says he has to put it up anyway, went to the council to see if there was any advice available but told I was pretty much stuck in a corner as I didn't pay a deposit to move into this house therefore wouldn't have the money to private rent again, (tried all avenues with regards to borrowing money). The council tell me that If he serves me with a 2 months notice to leave and I do leave then I have made myself 'intentionally homeless' and that they will not help me so the only route I'd have was to wait until he took me to court and the bailiffs were to evict me. Surely that's not right?!
I wouldnt want to have to do that to my landlord as he is a good guy but needs the extra rent. The council also don't advise I stay in accommodation (my house) where I can't afford to pay the rent.
I'm so confused and worried right now it's just me and my 5 year old daughter here and I have no clue where I stand, any advice would be helpful or any experience with any of it

maja00 Tue 23-Jul-13 22:14:31

All you can do, realistically, if the landlord insists on putting up the rent, is sit tight and wait til you are physically evicted.

The council will not help you until that point. If you wait til you are evicted they will find some kind of temporary accommodation for you - it may be a hostel or a B&B. It will put you to the top of the housing list though so hopefully you will eventually get a council flat - it may take some time (even years) in temporary accommodation though.

Have you tried calling Shelter?

Roshbegosh Tue 23-Jul-13 22:15:53

It is a bad outcome for both you and the landlord. The council telling people to stay put until the bailiffs come is the reason landlords won't touch housing benefit claimants with a barge pole. It's bloody mad that they won't help before that point, it would help everyone if they did.

lostmumsarah989 Tue 23-Jul-13 22:25:00

I feel for the landlord as I get where he's coming from but think its so silly that I have to take advantage of him to be eligible for help, spoke to shelter this morning and they said basically the same thing, sit tight where you are or council won't help, no idea what is going to happen now I've heard it can take months to be physically evicted through the courts

maja00 Tue 23-Jul-13 22:32:35

It's foolish of the landlord really - he has a good tenant in you at the moment, but if he wants to put the rent up he's going to end up losing loads more money taking it to the courts.

lostmumsarah989 Tue 23-Jul-13 22:43:22

Is there anyway the council could help if I was to leave after the 2 months notice or would they completely wash there hands with me? Because iv not stayed until physically evicted?

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Tue 23-Jul-13 22:51:01

You say you're in a lot of debt. I'm wondering if you could negotiate lower repayments to free up more money to pay the new rent? Have you seen CAB for debt/housing advice?

Tullahulla Tue 23-Jul-13 22:54:43

See, I get really annoyed at people saying to wait to be evicted. I rent a few flats (am a registered and very responsible landlord btw) but to have a tenant refuse to leave is very costly to the landlord. Who's paying the rent on the property while this happens? If I receive no rent I can't keep up the mortgage, insurance and factor payments on the flat. Landlords must have a very good excuse to increase the rent and give you reasonable notice that they intend to do so.

Sorry op, this isn't having a pop at you, just expressing what it's like from the other pov.

ShoutyCrackers Tue 23-Jul-13 22:56:29

Apply to the council for discretionary housing benefit payments.

maja00 Tue 23-Jul-13 22:57:37

Tullahulla, what else can the OP do though? She might feel sorry that it will be expensive for the landlord, but she can't risk making her child homeless.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Tue 23-Jul-13 23:05:35

According to the NHAS homelessness fact sheet, it may not be the case that the OP would be found to be intentionally homeless should she leave before eviction; there are circumstances beyond OP's control ie rent has gone up/she can't afford it. That's my reading of it, at least.

Again, get advice, OP - bit of a grey area and CAB will definitely point you in the right direction.

lostmumsarah989 Tue 23-Jul-13 23:10:17

I understand where your coming from completely as a landlord and dont want to have to put him through that or make my 5 year old be dragged from pillar to post, i would happily leave after 2 months notice but then have no where to go and council wouldnt help. have got an allocated debt adviser at the cab and am paying most company's minimum while I sort what they call 'priority debts'. I am on the old scheme of housing benefits so have a rent officer who will only review my rent once a year on the anniversary date which is November but have already been told this would not increase as I'm at the maximum amount of housing benefit, iv been declined once before from discretionary housing payments when he put the rent up last time. I just don't know what to do sad

lostmumsarah989 Tue 23-Jul-13 23:13:27

I not red that information before, may meed to look it abit Deeper then. Will try the CAB route, have tried council and shelter who have said same thing, maybe I'm missing something

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Tue 23-Jul-13 23:14:06

How much are your debts in total? I'm sure your debt advisor would be interested to know about your rent increase; if he/she is trying to work out realistic payments it'll all mean nothing if there's no money to meet them.
Keep him/her informed and they might be able to come up with a solution.

rainbowfeet Tue 23-Jul-13 23:14:42

Hi op I am in a similar position, I am a lone parent too. I am waiting to see if my local council with cover my rent rise starting end aug. I have been removed from the council housing list although over crowded the council say I am not there responsibility unless I'm homeless (actually evicted) landlord gave me notice at the beginning of the year & although at 1st the thought of eviction terrified me it would have been my only way out. Unfortunately landlord didn't follow it with the eviction as he said its too expensive. confused

I hate where I live for personal reasons & desperate to get out. But am stuck, citizens advice said if I don't pay the increase or my rent (I am that desperate) then the council won't help as I'm making myself homeless. It's a trap that I can see no way out for the near future, in my area I'd need at least £2000 for another private let move, can't even imagine how long it would take to save it up!!! confused

Annoys me when people say its so easy to get a council house & live off benefits it isn't!! Hopefully just a glitch while ds is so young... I need my life & self respect back.

Tullahulla Tue 23-Jul-13 23:19:51

There are things the op can do other than rack up a huge legal bill for the landlord as have been suggested, cab.

I had this a couple of years ago with a tenant, the stress we were under was immense, my dh who already put in a 60 hours week was working almost 80 hours, I upped to as many hours at work as I could, just to cover the costs, not very pleasant, all because our tenant decided she liked shopping more than paying her rent! It all came to a head when dh was diagnosed with a particularly nasty form of leukaemia, she sneaked out of the flat, left a right mess, owed us months in unpaid rent and left us to deal with a load of threatening debt letters - so that was nice of her! So yeah, we were feeling a little sorry for OURSELVES.

If the council and local housing associations were providing decent affordable homes, then landlords would be out of business, but they don't, so we provide that service, but it's not so we can have the piss taken out of us.

Op, I think you have been misinformed, as others have said, check with cab, can't you rent without giving a deposit?

rainbowfeet Tue 23-Jul-13 23:20:01

Plus with private sector you could face another move in 6 months ... Where does the money come from for all these moves. I have already had to do it twice in 5 years, I just want some security for my dc's.

lostmumsarah989 Tue 23-Jul-13 23:23:18

Rainbow feet- I know exactly how you feel, having a child and not knowing what's going to happen is awful, it disrupts a big part of your life, I suffer with quite bad anxiety and depression (which I am on meds for) and this just couldn't have come at a worst time. I've tried all avenues and just feel so lost right now, I hope at some point il see the light at the end of the tunnel and I hope you do too

newbiefrugalgal Tue 23-Jul-13 23:28:36

How much is the rent rise?

lostmumsarah989 Tue 23-Jul-13 23:31:13

I don't WANT to rack up a huge bill with the landlord but not sure of what I can do, if I leave after 2 months notice that means no home for me and my daughter and no help from council so would actually be physically living on the streets...... Can't afforded private renting again as have no deposit, no money and no way of getting any (tryed EVERYTHING possible) My priority would be my daughters health, safety and well being, any parent would say the same. Like I said my landlord is a nice guy and I genuinely don't want to mess him about as I know he had his own mortgages/bills etc. BUT like the council said I'm stuck in a corner with only one way out. I am on here to try and get advice so I don't need to put him or me andmy daughter through a long and expensive eviction

rainbowfeet Tue 23-Jul-13 23:40:11

While I am thankful for a benefits system that I am reliant on at the moment, had worked full time previous to my problems, there are some real crap rules.. Can get a loan for 1 months rent on a new private let so its just security dep & moving costs to find but again only once your homeless!!! Which is daft because you need that up front to show a landlord you can pay.. (Hard enough finding landlords to take hb)!

I wonder if I didn't pay my rent & got evicted what would the council do leave me & 2 dc's on the street, huddled together on the steps of the town hall?!!! hmm

ThePskettiIncident Tue 23-Jul-13 23:44:35

When your landlord issues you with a notice to quit, sign up to the home choice register (in fact you might be able to do this beforehand).

When it happened to me, my priority for housing was increased and through bidding on homes through the register I found somewhere and moved in within 4 weeks. No extra bill for my landlord who I explained my situation to, and I got more secure housing.

The council housing officers will try and put you off sadly because housing is in short supply and they would rather you got new private accom, but check their housing register policy thoroughly.

I found a good housing support officer who was brilliant. She also helped me look at other private rent options and told me I could get a loan/grant to cover the deposit for a private rent.

You also need to check the max rents h. Will provide to see what you can afford.

And finally, my local authority agreed to cover the difference between my existing rent and the increased tent for a short time to keep me housed if need be.

Don't take no for an answer and explore every option you can.

So sorry you are going through this, I know how stressful it can be.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Tue 23-Jul-13 23:56:28

Sorry but you haven't tried all avenues. I keep repeating myself, but you need to go back to CAB and tell them about the rent increase.
There might be solutions to your debt problems that haven't been explored before, and there might be a 'fit to rent' scheme in your area (think that's what it's called); the council lend the deposit for a private rent.

specialsubject Wed 24-Jul-13 10:22:59

this is insane, and as someone else points out, it is one of the reasons that landlords can't rent to HB tenants (The other being that it is often very difficult to get insurance). The council telling you to wait and get evicted creates hassle (and a terrible record) for you, expense for your landlord and just wastes a load of time and money.

keep your landlord informed and explore other options. Good luck.

LIZS Wed 24-Jul-13 10:35:39

Agree you need to revisit CAB adviser and explain the issue asap. there are deposit loan schemes, YMCA did one locally here and councils will be able to advise who you could apply to. Is the rent rise proposed reasonable in the local market? ll may yet agree to you staying if he raises the alternative is a potentially costly system of notice and eviction then trying to find another tenant. He may simply think your debts are an excuse.

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