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Housing Benefit/Husband Paying Rent

(10 Posts)
NewlySingleMum Thu 13-Oct-11 00:58:49


I'm really new to this so I hope I'm posting in the right place and don't come across as either an idiot or a bitch - I hope I'm neither - I just want what's best for my babies. Anyway...

I've just left my husband. We have a one year old and I'm pregnant with twins. Well done me, eh? Anyway, I'm at my parents' house just now. They're wonderful and sooo supportive but I'm currently sharing a small bedroom with my sister, DS and several boxes of my belongings, which are also cluttering up most other areas of the house too... It's a bit of a nightmare and I've been searching for a place of our own but with no luck as yet.

I do work, but only part-time, and in a couple of months, I'm going to be on basic SMP, so I think I will be entitled to some form of Housing Benefit. But the maximum rate allowed in this area appears only to buy tiny little flats in the middle of the roughest areas. The thing is, what I was thinking was that if I could convince my husband to part with an extra £150 a month, say, to be paid directly towards the rent, would that affect my benefit entitlement? It would mean the difference between a house and a flat and a dodgy and a decent (not posh, just no used needles lying about on the pavement!) area... If my husband agreed to this (big if!), would the council just cut back Housing Benefit by whatever extra he gave?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

cestlavielife Thu 13-Oct-11 10:37:10

where is your husband living?
why cant you stay in family home and he move out?

splashymcsplash Thu 13-Oct-11 12:08:26

You could have a private arrangement for maintenance at greater than the.csa rate to include some money towards rent. Maintenance does not effect benefits. Hope you manage to find somewhere.

NewlySingleMum Thu 13-Oct-11 13:54:17

Hi and thanks for your replies.

Cestlavielife - the family home is about 2hrs drive away from all of my family and friends (no time to make new friends - at least not like the ones I have here - as we've only been living there since June). I've been having a really bad pregnancy - hyperemesis, fainting fits, migraines, up all night with heartburn... I really need support right now while looking after DS and it seems the only place I can get that is back "home" near Mum and Dad. In the last week since I left DH, I've managed to gain my very first pound all pregnancy, purely down to being looked after so well. So it's not really an option to stay where I was, unfortunately. I need to think of my health and my babies'. (God, what a mess! sad)

Splashymcsplash - that's really good to hear. Thank you SO much for your reply. Here's hoping DH can bring himself to put his children first now. confused

cestlavielife Thu 13-Oct-11 14:08:28

that makes sense you will need local support.

ScaredKittyWitchyKitty Fri 14-Oct-11 17:19:02

Ok, first things first. You'll need to check the LHA rates for your area so you know for certain what you'd be entitled to. You can find this here. Bear in mind that LHA is only for privately rented properties. For council properties you'd get Housing Benefit which is slightly different and the details should be on your local council's website. Due to overcrowding you may be entitled to a council property - have you enquired about this?

Secondly, yes, if your husband gave you £150 to you towards the rent it would affect your LHA because the amount you receive is based on income and the £150 would be classed as income from another source. So the only way to do it would be to class it as maintenance, as suggested above.

Finally, I don't know you or your husband, the reasons why you split, whether it's amicable or not or how much he earns. However I think you need to consider that it might not be quite as simple as asking him for an extra £150 per month and him coughing up with no problem. Bear in mind he also needs to pay rent/mortgage on just one income too, and have a property suitable for three children to stay overnight in. He also will have similar expenses to you - food, bills, petrol etc - plus I assume he'll be paying maintenance to you as the resident parent. So if he earns £100k, paying you an extra £150 may not be too much of an issue. However if he earns £20k it may be a a non-starter. Don't get me wrong - I can totally understand your wish to have a house in a decent area in which to bring up your kids. However these days private renting is very expensive and you may have to accept that right now, while not working, you might have to settle for a roof over your heads in the best area you can afford, with the aim of moving to a better area when your financial situation improves (for instance if you return to work when the kids are at school).

GypsyMoth Fri 14-Oct-11 17:29:45

So you've definitely split up. How will you work if your job is so far away?

ScaredKittyWitchyKitty Fri 14-Oct-11 17:39:30

IloveTIFFANY On another thread the OP has said she's classed as working but is on maternity leave and is currently getting maternity pay but will soon be on SMP.

ScaredKittyWitchyKitty Fri 14-Oct-11 17:42:23

Sorry, pressed post too soon.

The OP has said she's planning on resigning/not going back after her mat leave ends, so will then go onto benefits - her thread discussing all this is here

FrayedKnot Fri 14-Oct-11 23:52:43

Your husband would need to pay the additional amount (as well as anything else he pays you) as child maintenance, then it will not affect anything you are entitled to. As others have said, maintenance paid for you will be classed as income and your benefits reduced accordingly.

You also need to take into account whether or not you have equity in your former marital home, because this will be classed as capital. If you have over £16K capital you would not be entitled to HB and anything over £6K will affect your entitlement. Capital can be disregarded if the property is on the market - once the sale has completed and your share of the equity released, you will no longer be able to claim HB, and you need to prove that the property is for sale by giving estate agents details etc.

Have you seen a solicitor at all? You definitely need to be planning long term if this is going to be a permanent separation / divorce.

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