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What should I do? Housing benefit/Pre rent tenancy experts needed or anyone else!!!

(14 Posts)
busybusybee Tue 30-May-06 20:02:40

Ill try to keep this brief - I dont want you to fall asleep!!!

I desperately need to move home - Dh is leaving me (long boring tale of woe)

I have found a house I REALLY WANT TO LIVE IN - perfect location in my chosen town, small but useful garden, hideous carpets but what the heck I can get new etc etc

I viewed it. I went to the estate agents and signed a bunch of forms - including a "pre tennancy rent agreement". I thought the idea was they would pass this on to the rent officer in the housing dept (who then decides what housing benefit I am eligible for) That was Thursday last week

I phoned up the rent officer today and discovered they are processing someone elses form for MY HOUSE - arggggggggggghhhhhh!!!!!!!
Phoned up estate agents who seem to know nothing about what happened to my form.

Apparently they should have taken it and I should have taken it directly to housing office - ignorant dimbat that I am I didnt know this.

I have a plan for tommorrow and what to know what you think!!!

SenoraPostrophe Tue 30-May-06 20:06:48

never heard of such a form, but it makes sense that it's you that takes it to the council.


last time I claimed hb you had to beg borrow or steal the money for the deposit and first few weeks' rent, and then claim. not that that helps you of course. bugger.

mind you, could be a blessing in disguise. is it a private rent? if so getting new carpets won't be a good idea as they can kick you out in 6 months. have you contacted housing associations etc?

busybusybee Tue 30-May-06 20:07:39

Here is the plan

Should I go with ds who is 4 and dd 2 on the 7.55am train tommorrow morning (arrives at 8.45am and is a quiet train, nice journey), and go directly to estate agents and hand over the agency fee £125, bond £475 and months rent £475 Then get them to fill out another pre tennancy form and Ill take it to housing services

Would that action secure the property???
What if rent officer decides on a really low figure for my housing benefit and I cant afford to meet the difference - Will I lose all the money I have given estate agent or just bond???

OMG my stomach is doing summersaults - I really want to live in that house, and I really want to get away from grumpy dh who is going to leave me whatever I do.........

busybusybee Tue 30-May-06 20:10:45

Yes it is a private rental

Because there is very little if any council property available.
I was "advised" to rent privately by the woman dealing with my council housing application form!!!!!

SenoraPostrophe Tue 30-May-06 20:12:28

it probably will secure the property, but it's my guess that the other person did that and that is why they "lost" your form? (or of course it could be that they are idiots. it's quite a common affliction among estate agents I believe)

you would lose all of the money though, not just the bond. but you can usually get a good idea of what hb will pay by asking what the rent was 2 years ago in the area (if rents are going up fast, don't touch it).

SenoraPostrophe Tue 30-May-06 20:15:40

she'll have said that because you'd have to wait for a council house. but private rentals are very insecure - it's one of my bugbears in fact. I'll write to my mp about it one of these days.

busybusybee Tue 30-May-06 20:21:06

Oh SP you are not making me feel better!!!
You are however being realistic!

I dont think the other person has put any money on the property yet - Its still very much up for grabs - thats why I thought I should try and secure it, before this other person does. Their form will be dealt with before mine, blah blah blah.

If the rent goes up does hb go up to???

Freckle Tue 30-May-06 20:21:56

It sounds like a pre-tenancy determination form. You get the prospective landlord to fill in the form with details of rent, etc., you fill in the balance and take it to the local authority for the attention of the rent officer. He is supposed to determine what, if any, housing benefit is payable on the property so that you know whether you can enter into a tenancy agreement.

The agents should have known the procedure.

busybusybee Tue 30-May-06 20:23:29

What should I dooooooooooooooooo!!!!!

I really want to live in this house

Few others available, and the ones that are dont fit my wish list nearly so well

Freckle Tue 30-May-06 20:24:49

Just read rest of thread. Do not pay over any money until you have confirmation from the rent officer of what housing benefit you will be entitled to. Otherwise you will enter into a binding agreement to pay the rent due on the property without knowing if you can pay it. You must wait for the rent officer to make his determination. It can take up to two weeks for this to happen. You do risk losing the property in the meantime, but you really shouldn't enter into an agreement to pay monthly rent without knowing that you can afford it.

SenoraPostrophe Tue 30-May-06 20:27:23

it is a lot of money to lose.

and no, usually hb goes up more slowly than rent - that's one of the reasons why there's often a shortfall (they take the "avergae" local rents from some unspecified point in time and use that as their base figure. It's almost always too low)

busybusybee Tue 30-May-06 20:37:47

Oh Freckle you are right about the binding agreement bit - I didnt think about that!!!!!

Oh heck, darn and blast

cece Tue 30-May-06 20:43:58

Before a private rental you can ask the housing benefit department at council for a pretenacy determination. This will tell you how much housing benefit you are entitled to. However, you cannot ask for this once you have signed a tenacy agreement. Have to do it before.

GarfieldsGirl Tue 30-May-06 21:10:54

It loks like its different all over the country. My experience is this:

A pre-ten determination has to be done. It won't give you a definitive amount that HB will pay for you, but will give you an idea. They will pay the 'average' rent for your type of property in that area (where they get this figure from I don't know. Our last rent was £520 p/m 4yrs ago, this was quite cheap, ave rent for 2bed house in that area was £550, rising to £700 when we moved out HB started paying £450 pcm rising eventually to £519pcm). Only after you've done the pre-ten can you apply for HB, and pre-ten has to be included in application, this can take anthing from 2wks-7mths to be completed. Obviously in that time you are responsible for rent, unless you have an understanding agents who know you will be getting HB, so don't ask for the rent from you.

Be very careful of these agents tho, don't go handing money over to them too soon, as it sounds to me like these other people have the house.

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