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HB are asking for proof of rent from landlord

(22 Posts)
msjones80 Sun 17-Mar-13 22:58:46

I receive some housing benefit and have just received a letter from the council telling me I need to provide them with proof that my rent is up to date (which it is). They say that 'a letter from my landlord will do', but my landlord doesn't know I get HB. They don't mention any other alternatives or ways to proof this. Any advice? Do you think providing bank statements for the last months would do?

BertieBotts Sun 17-Mar-13 23:01:12

Bank statements probably not an option. Do you not get statements from your landlord? I get one once a year showing me I'm up to date. The amount of rent should also be stated in your contract, or if it's been increased recently, that should have been communicated via letter too (although my council were a bit funny about me using this because apparently it was too old - it was the most recent contact I'd had with my landlord!)

BoringTheBuilder Sun 17-Mar-13 23:01:24

Just tell your LL that you need a letter stating the amount of rent you pay each month and that you are not in arrears. Make sure he signs it. What wold happen if LL knows you claim HB.?

msjones80 Sun 17-Mar-13 23:03:46

I'm afraid they wouldn't like it, it's an agency rather than just one person and they are very strict. Might not renew my contract or raise rent or demand for higher deposit or who knows!

BoringTheBuilder, what if LL asks what is the letter for?

BertieBotts Sun 17-Mar-13 23:09:22

Why don't you contact them and say "I'm just trying to organise my paperwork and I can't seem to find my latest statement of rent paid. Do you think you could send me another copy please?"

msjones80 Sun 17-Mar-13 23:21:28

Um... the thing is Ive been in the flat for several years now and never received a statement. Do they have to send them?

Can you think of any other reasons to ask for a proof of rent?

AryaStarksDancingMaster Sun 17-Mar-13 23:29:01

Just say you need it for a loan application - perhaps for buying a car or something.

BoringTheBuilder Sun 17-Mar-13 23:33:55

Say that it is for a loan or to be a 'sponsor' from some friend coming from abroad on a tourist visa (the home office asks for this for some countries) or say that you are going to apply for a extra curricular bursary for your children, eg. Drama workshops, or sports / music lessons, and you need to prove income and outgoings and the LL's letter is required

CrystalTits Sun 17-Mar-13 23:40:02

Sorry to hijack, but how do you rent without your LL/agency knowing that you receive HB?

I'm asking because my friend is desperately looking for a flat for her & DC since her arsehat DH left. We cannot find anywhere willing to accept HB, & time is running out as she has to vacate (now too expensive) property in 14 days.

Any suggestions re how to keep schtum about HB while providing suitable documents to agencies without them finding pit would be gratefully received - not trying to defraud, just get a roof over her head!

CrystalTits Sun 17-Mar-13 23:40:43

*out not pit, sorry

msjones80 Sun 17-Mar-13 23:50:35

Thanks BoringTheBuilder and AryaStarksDancingMaster

CrystalTits I rented the flat with my ex-partner a while ago, when we were still together. After that we separated and the landlord agreed to change contract in my name with him as a guarantor (luckily we didn't end up too badly). Then I applied to get some HB help, which they pay directly into my account.

TBH I wouldn't lie or omit this info if it was a private landlord - I've heard they really be in trouble with their insurance company if something happens to the flat and they find out you're getting HB. Another option would be looking for flats that consider DSS (on gumtree). She won't get HB immediately, needs to sign the contract first and then I think it took about a month to get all paperwork sorted. Good luck.

CrystalTits Mon 18-Mar-13 09:41:55

msjones80 thanks so much for your advice. I hadn't thought about the insurance company issue. My friend already has HB sorted for her current property so hopefully it wouldn't be too difficult to transfer to a new address/landlord (though I am probably being horribly naive). I've been scouring Gumtree for her but there's nothing available at the moment that will accept DSS.

Hope you manage to sort out the rent proof for the council. Thanks again thanks

50BalesOfHay Mon 18-Mar-13 09:49:32

You need to tell your Landlord about the HB as it will probably invalidate their insurance. We're landlords and wouldn't have a problem with HB recipients, except that our insurance policy specifically excludes it, and insurance which does allow it is so much more expensive that we'd have to increase the rent to a point which would probably exceed the HB limit.

This, I think, is the reason that it's so hard for people on HB to get private rentals, and if the government really do want to sort out the housing crisis this is somehing they need to tackle.

BertieBotts Mon 18-Mar-13 09:49:43

Crystal you usually find you need to go outside of agencies and look in places like local newspaper ads, post office windows, supermarket noticeboards etc. Ask to meet them first so that your friend can show she is a respectable person in a difficult situation, rather than a Jeremy Kyle type (horrible but the stereotype some landlords have) and then when the landlord seems positive, mention the HB but in a very apologetic way, perhaps providing assurance that she has never been late with rent or missed a payment before. If she has a willing guarantor that is always a help too.

The problem with applying but not mentioning HB is that usually if you're getting HB your income is pretty low and they tend to ask "Well if you only earn X, how are you going to pay this rent?"

OP technically any landlord might have the kind of mortgage which forbids them to rent to HB tenants, even if they rent through an agency. I do understand why you wouldn't say anything, but the landlord isn't more protected because it's an agency.

BertieBotts Mon 18-Mar-13 09:53:34

The insurance/mortgage thing is shocking TBH. It's so discriminatory - no wonder so many people end up lying by omission. I don't think that insurance/mortgage companies should be allowed to dictate this - although I guess that would put the cost up for everyone rather than making it lower/even which would be more fair. sad

msjones80 Mon 18-Mar-13 10:35:02

Crystal try looking on for whole properties, then select "DSS considered" from the filter list - there are a few. Good luck!

msjones80 Mon 18-Mar-13 15:22:31

Oh well, I asked LL for letter/statements and they asked what for. Didn't want to lie, so I told them I'm currently getting help with my rent from the council and that I was asked to send them proof that my rent is up to date. All this was on email... Fingers crossed now. My contract doesnt mention anything about HB.

Apart from the letter, could they try to evict me or make my life impossible?

BoringTheBuilder Mon 18-Mar-13 15:55:11

I'm not sure but if they increase your rent, ask for other letter with the new rent and reasons why the rent is being increased. Hopefully your HB will be increased if your rent increases? Or all the benefits changes will affect you? I'm sorry but I think I would have lied tbh. And the agency shouldn't be asking any questions. You pay your fucking rent and you want a letter confirming this, what is the big deal? I'm so happy now I rent privately and my LL is fab, but I had a lot of headache in the past.

msjones80 Mon 18-Mar-13 15:59:17

well, I don't think they can increase the rent just because they feel like it, at least until current contract expires.hmm

I know I considered lying but you know what? If they want me out of the flat I'll go - I'd rather be honest for my own peace of mind.

BoringTheBuilder Mon 18-Mar-13 18:49:58

The last property I rented, the LL wanted to increase the rent giving us only 2 months notice and whitout doing any work that needed done in the property, nor removing the piece of shit he called furniture so we could buy standard stuff that actually met our needs. So I gave him notice and found a similar property 100 times better condition for the price we would have to pay for old LL. So if you are happy to move, good luck, as tenants we never have any guarantees anyway, any LL can ask for the property back with minimum notice.

ilovemybum Mon 18-Mar-13 21:23:52

I've just had to move properties and struggled to find anywhere that took HB. I was told by numerous agencies that they don't accept it and I would have to either rent privately or speak to an agency that specialised in HB.

Snowme Tue 19-Mar-13 13:56:17


Friend just needs a guarantor.

Local council do a Rent Assistance Scheme where they will pay a month's rent and deposit direct to the landlord/agent. It's an interest free loan that can be paid back at minimum rate.

If its not the insurance issue, mention that housing benefit can be paid directly into the landlord/agent's bank account and not the tenant's bank account.

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