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Help with council housing

(10 Posts)
ScarletLady02 Mon 10-Mar-14 19:36:21

I was wondering if someone who knew something about the system could help me.

My MIL lives in a 3 bed council house on her own and so has to pay "bedroom tax". She also obviously struggles with to fund the house by herself as she's on ESA and is pretty much disabled (though not recognised). Me and my husband are both currently unemployed but the move to London is because of better opportunities for us in our fields.

I wanted to know what would happen if we (Me, DH and DD) were to move in for a while. All the rooms would be occupied so I assume the bedroom tax would stop. It's DH's childhood home, and she's lived there nearly 30 years, so DH has been a resident of the property for many years in the past. Would her housing benefit increase? I assume the LHA would be higher as it's based on one occupant at the moment. Also, how would it affect us? I have no clue about council rules etc regarding families. I know you can't sub-let but we'd all be living there as a family for a short while, she wouldn't be renting a room to us. Would that affect our individual benefits? I would assume her ESA and our JSA and Child Benefits/CTC are treated separately, but I don't know for sure.

I just want to know if it's financially viable, from what I can work out, it would help her out a lot (she really struggles financially) and give us both a chance to look for work in a better environment.

ParsingFancy Mon 10-Mar-14 19:41:19

I do know that you will have to watch out for the benefit cap.

ESA is not exempt, and multiple-generation households doing exactly what you would have thought is the right thing, ie living together to save resources, are exactly the households being affected.

JakeBullet Mon 10-Mar-14 19:41:58

I am no expert but I think if you are there and the rooms are occupied then a lot will depend upon how her council view it.

We have a family locally where a Mum and toddler are in a three bed house....she has her 14 year old brother living there but the cuncil are still charging bedroom tax (or whatever it's called) as according to rules the 14 year old and the toddler can share! hmm. So obviously she s not renting a room to her school age brother but the council are still hammering her with this housing benefit reduction. She cannot move as there are too few two bedroom properties. Great decision to implement this change wasn't it?

So suspect she would still be liable for it...unless you go on the tenancy short term. Then of course any income you get would be expecte to pay any rent.

I am no expert though and could be wrong.

neffi Mon 10-Mar-14 19:42:45

You and your husband would be what is known as non dependants on your MILs HB claim. While you are on JSA there will be a deduction from her HB but there will be no further deduction due to under occupancy. The non dep deduction will be £13.60 so will probably be less than the current under occupancy reduction.

Her ESA and your JSA/TCs/CB will not be affected.

neffi Mon 10-Mar-14 19:44:34

Your MIL can have you live with her to fill the bedrooms, this is a perfectly acceptable way to reduce the under occupancy charge. One bedroom for her, one for you and your H, one for you child.

neffi Mon 10-Mar-14 19:45:51

Has she applied for a discretionary housing payment to help her with the shortfall?

neffi Mon 10-Mar-14 19:47:22

One more thing. If and when you find work the non dep deduction will increase depending on earnings. The non dep deduction comes off your MILs HB and you will need to arrange with her to pay the shortfall.

neffi Mon 10-Mar-14 19:50:05

One last last thing. No benefit cap implications. Your MILs income and yours will not be combined, you will still count as two separate households for benefit purposes

LesbianMummy1 Mon 10-Mar-14 19:57:18

Have pm'd you

ScarletLady02 Tue 11-Mar-14 10:08:48

Thanks for all the info given, that really helps.

We will of course help her as much as we can as and when we start working. My MIL, I love her dearly, but she's very stubborn and stuck in her ways. I keep telling her to apply for the discretionary housing payment but she thinks she won't get it (the bloody government won't help me etc), plus she hate filling in forms and all that stuff. I plan on doing all that for her when we move in because I've received it before and I know that she WILL get it (99% sure anyway). I'm also going to help her fill in DLA forms because I'm pretty sure she'll get that as well if someone supports her through all that stuff, the appeal etc. She has emphysema (she's in her 50s, so not a pensioner yet) and a whole host of other health problems, but they can't seem to pin-point exactly what is wrong with her so she feels the DLA people won't help or believe her (she's very suspicious of the benefit system generally, she worked most of her life). I know that DH will feel better being close to her as she does need help to get around on most days.

I've done a quick entitled to calculation (don't know why I didn't think to do that). I don't know every single bit of info but I used educated guesses, and it looks like she will be about £10 a week better off with us living there, plus obviously we will help with the household expenses (gas, electric etc)

I just wanted to have as much info as possible to give her as she's always living in worry the government will take even more money off her and she really struggles as it is.

Thanks a lot for your help.

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