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can my boyfriend stay the night if i'm a single mum on benefits?

(27 Posts)
legohouse Wed 14-Mar-12 16:43:57

say one night a week? don't know the rules and don't want to get into trouble but he lives quite far away.

fergoose Wed 14-Mar-12 16:48:38

yes he can - there is not a set amount of nights where he is/not allowed, it is about him being financially linked. So if he pays bills, towards rent and food he would be considered to be living with you and you would need to stop your benefits.

HettyKett Wed 14-Mar-12 16:49:09

IIRC 3 nights a week is the maximum allowed, but maybe I don't RC.

One night is fine in any case.

JaneB1rkin Wed 14-Mar-12 16:53:21

I think as Fergoose said it's not an actual number of nights that decides it. I was told once by the chaps with their briefcases, who came to visit unannounced, that it's discretionary and there 'are no rules' hmm which is a right f*cker for those of us who would respectfully wish not to break them.

They left content that he wasn't living with us but I don't know on what grounds. I think the fact I hadn't seen him in a week was something to do with it.

Interesting to know it's to do with financial support.

So in theory does that mean if DP stayed every night, but never gave us a penny, we'd be alright?

teaandthorazine Wed 14-Mar-12 16:54:05

There is no maximum or minimum. As fergoose says, it is to do with his financial input into the household, not the number of nights he's present in your bed.

If you are sharing the financial burdens of running the household with him, you'll be liable for reductions/cessation of benefits. But if he's staying 5 nights a week and not paying a penny, you're fine (well, you're a mug, but fine benefits-wise grin)

usualsuspect Wed 14-Mar-12 16:54:42

yes he can

usualsuspect Wed 14-Mar-12 16:55:50

Unless you have nosy Sun reading neighbours who might report you.

KatAndKit Wed 14-Mar-12 16:57:49

If he is paying rent and council tax on his place, then that should satisfy them that he is not living with you as he has his own permanent address.

JaneB1rkin Wed 14-Mar-12 17:07:05


Kat&Kit, not necessarily. That was something else I asked and they said it doesn't count for anything, if he has his own place. Sadly.

JaneB1rkin Wed 14-Mar-12 17:08:24

I mean it seems to be more what you, the single parent, are getting out of it financially than what he is having to pay for. He could have a million quid house somewhere and still be funding all your bills and shopping, and that would mean they wouldn't want to give you anything on top.

KatAndKit Wed 14-Mar-12 17:12:02

Right, I see. That makes sense but I can't see why they'd come snooping because if he has his own place which he is paying council tax on, why would they assume he is actually living with you? Is this what happens when curtain twitchers accuse you of benefit fraud?

Also, it is not impossible that someone could give you lotsa money and pay for your shopping and so on and you not actually be in a cohabiting sexual relationship with that person. That wouldn't disqualify you from benefits.

JaneB1rkin Wed 14-Mar-12 17:26:39

Yes that's absolutely true, people can pay for things for you and no one would know. And also yes to the other question, that's what happens when someone reports you, maliciously or out of a genuine belief that you're doing something wrong.

I think that was what happened to me/us. It was many years ago now.

ChocHobNob Wed 14-Mar-12 18:16:00

KatandKit, I think the issue with declaring it ok if they pay rent and council tax elsewhere is you could easily be in a committed relationship but have two homes, especially if he works away in the week for example. That would mean lots of couples could use that a loophole.

fergoose Wed 14-Mar-12 18:17:28

If someone gave you lots of money and paid for your shopping it would disqualify you from benefits surely? Wouldn't it be classed as an income then?

JaneB1rkin Wed 14-Mar-12 18:23:33

You have to declare regular income unless it is a charitable or voluntary donation. This might come under discretionary if someone was literally giving you thousands a month.

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 14-Mar-12 21:52:53

There are no set number of nights allowed otherwise it would be open to abuse. They look at the amount of time spent together, if you eat or shop together, if he/she buys groceries etc. They also ask neighbours if they consider you to be a couple rather than single so having his own place doesnt mean its perfectly above board.

betty419419 Sun 18-Mar-12 15:56:40

I has an 'informal' interview last year and they wanted to ask me questions about my then boyfriend (now ex) and whether he was living with me. I did ask for advise from council prior to his staying at mine and it was really ambiguous - not based on number of nights more about whether he is living with you so anyway I let them know as he lived and worked over 100 miles away would it be ok if he stayed overnight once or twice a month to which they said was fine. I was asked to attend an informal interview in which I was asked questions such as 'do other people see you as a couple?' and 'do we have any financial connections?' and does he pay my bills or contribute to the household etc - I believe they can check any financial connections and all my bills (utilities etc) are all set up in direct debit from my account. They also wrote a letter to my ex's employer asking for his address and how long he'd lived there and they also wrote to my dd respiratory nurse as she had been to my house on numerous occasions. Although it was horrible having my personal life rifled through it proved I had done nothing wrong - I don't quite know what they expect single parents on benefits to do - if your lucky enough to meet someone it can take time to be sure you want to live / commit to eachother, yet to get to the stage where your going to live together and in effect come off benefits does mean getting to know each other but it's so hard to know where you stand as like most honest people you want to ensure your not breaking the law!

Ultimately I think they look at the whole picture - if he stays over every week and buys groceries or supports you financially then I'd be very careful as this would suggest you are living together. Don't take out any credit together or open an account together either as again it suggests you are financially supporting each other. I would also advocate asking the councils advise and making a note of who you spoke to as well x

thefroggy Sun 18-Mar-12 16:55:26

I've been wondering about this myself (not that I have anyone), but i'm sure it was three nights. I've never really looked into it as i'm normally working.

A friend of mine was accused of benefit fraud and hauled in for an interview as her partner was photographed using her car early in the morning. According to them, he must have stayed the night...if there were no rules concerning overnight stays why would they have interviewed her? Or has it changed over the last few years?

I just wonder, if someone isn't "allowed" to stay the night how on earth do you ever get to be intimate with them? I know there are ways obviously, but if they have to be chucked out afterwards they may as well leave money by the long as you declare it. confused

MyLittleMiracle Sun 18-Mar-12 17:01:05

I was told by the job centre unless he was staying as in living with me or staying on a regular basis and contributing to the bills, or taking me shopping, doing hosuework, picking up the kids from school etc, then he wouldnt be classed as a partner. I asked whether i was able to have my best friend come down (she lives a good 2 hours away by car) and stay over the weekend. She said it wouldnt be a problem.

Maybe give them a phone annonymously and ask. Just to be on the safe side.

MyLittleMiracle Sun 18-Mar-12 17:12:24

I think if they are living there, and they must have assumed he was in your friends case thefroggy and using her car does seem a little suspicious so they had to check! I was called in for a compliance interview. It was just to check really that, me and my ex hadnt got back together. I now have a feeling that it might be to do with someone changing my child benefit into my mother in laws address and therefore they have assumed me and the ex are back together. We are not. I am actually due to go on another date with someone else, and he might stay over....maybe if he gets lucky!

thefroggy Sun 18-Mar-12 17:19:10

So what if one of us lone parents found a lovely man who decided to help with the kids..therefore giving us a much better chance of finding work because we knew we'd have reliable childcare.....would we face the choice of having benefit taken away or telling him to get lost? Never mind the emotional aspect of's not really clear?

My ex took me shopping, he never paid for any of it obviously but he had a car and I didn't, it made sense. (We used to quite like going shopping together, saddos that we were!)

thefroggy Sun 18-Mar-12 17:26:02

I've never had a car but if I did and I wasn't using it that day i'd happily let a long term bf use it when he'd stayed overnight. My friend walks everywhere anyway so it was no big deal to her...I think when you're not used to driving a car you see it as an optional extra. That may be alien to most I admit but personally not having one I can understand that. What you dont normally have you dont miss as such.

MyLittleMiracle Sun 18-Mar-12 23:19:00

I know but the benefits see it, as if you are doing basically everything together and he is staying overnight, you must be living together. And if someone was staying overnight at mine i would expect half for the take away, cos lets face it, i can only cook basics! Good enough for me and little man, but nothing showy for a date iykwim?

legohouse Thu 26-Apr-12 14:14:39

thankyou for all your helpful replies

TickTock123 Mon 16-Jun-14 00:34:41

Yes he can stay at yours, as long as you can proof that he does not live there, and is not actually living there, if he has utility bills in his name,
He can stay over as a stopping by to see a mate, but can not pay the up keep of your house,n not have his name on bills at our property
Not even a catalogue

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