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to be thinking of taking a lodger without telling my landlord?

79 replies

MilaV · 24/04/2011 20:53

I know it sounds awful, but they're this huge agency and it was a nightmare to get the flat in the first place. Lots of checks and references needed... I don't know what they'll do if I tell them that XP and I have separated and he's moving out, and that I need to rent a room (otherwise I won't be able to pay the rent). Anyone has been in the same situation, or got a bit of advice? I'd like to be clear and up front, but I fear they will refuse and even ask to end our tenancy agreement. :(

OP posts:
FabbyChic · 24/04/2011 22:57

In order to claim Housing Benefit the tenancy would have to be in your name only, the problem with that is your letting agent might not let it to you on your income alone and might not accept housing benefit.

EricNorthmansMistress · 24/04/2011 23:04

Not true FabbyChic, she just has to declre that the H has moved out.

MilaV · 24/04/2011 23:04

Yes, they won't accept it :( I could also get a 9 to 5 job and become independent in economic terms, but I regret I won't be seeing my little one as much :(

OP posts:
EricNorthmansMistress · 24/04/2011 23:04

OP have you rememebered to apply for your single person council tax deduction?

MilaV · 24/04/2011 23:05

no, going to check that as well! thanks :)

OP posts:
EricNorthmansMistress · 24/04/2011 23:06

My advice FWIW
apply fr HB and call TCs to let them know he has moved out and give a new estimate of earnings for this year.
Don't rent the room out (especially if you receive HB and a single person CT deduction) unless it's to a good friend that you can trust.
Serve notic at the end of the contract and move somewhere cheaper (unless HB makes it more affordable)

FabbyChic · 24/04/2011 23:17

Eric the OP has already said they wont accept housing benefit!

MilaV · 24/04/2011 23:19

About leaving after 6 months, I've been looking at the contract but it says it's for 12 months, doesn't mention that anywhere... it's an assured shorthold tenancy under part 1 of the housing act 1988 bla bla bla (that's what it says on top of the page)

OP posts:
izzywhizzyletsgetbusy · 24/04/2011 23:29

Without having viewed the terms of your lease, I see no reason why you shouldn't provide a temporary roof to someone in need without need for you to inform the landlord.

Plenty of folk looking for no strings short term accomodation on gumtree, and perhaps this could provide the funds you require to maintain your rent payments without dipping into your savings.

Could be that you'll make a few new friends, and should any neighbour make enquiries there'd be nothing unnatural in you having a friend/relative to stay for a few weeks or months.

Whatever you decide, I wish you luck and a swfit turnaround of your finances.

EricNorthmansMistress · 24/04/2011 23:35

Did you have a break clause put in? Mine is 12 months with a 6 month break clause so either of us could give notice after 6 months.

FabbyChic - HB goes direct to the tenant. There is no reason for her to tell anyone she is getting it and as long as the rent is paid nobody will give a shit.

HerHissyness · 25/04/2011 10:05

You have a 12m contract, well then tbh, you will have to do something long term as without a break clause, it looks like you still have 9m left.

Get some proper advice. My feeling is that you will be able to and tbh will have to do whatever you need to, or you could be sued for the full contract's rent.

FWIW, the Agent/LL can't get you out either, until the end of the contract.

Acekicker · 25/04/2011 10:19

I wouldn't do it - don't forget that if you had to have credit checks etc to rent the place in the first instance, the agency/LL will have access to run them again - a search against the property could throw up the lodger as living at that address at some point...ie I'd take it that you will get rumbled at sme point, it's just a question of when.

SugarPasteFrog · 25/04/2011 11:35

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChippingInLovesEasterEggs · 25/04/2011 12:03

I would just do it - you are just getting a flatmate in, that's all. It's not as though you are actually letting it out to someone else and moving out. If you move out then they move out, you pay ALL the rent not your flatmate - YOU are responsible, so anything they do or don't do is YOUR responsibility. On that basis I don't see why your landlord even needs to know (and I say that as a previous, tennant, previous landlord and current owner intending to rent their house out).

Gooseberrybushes · 25/04/2011 12:18

Chippin, and what if the lodger doesn't move out?

wotss · 25/04/2011 12:36

HerHissyness has good advice, & FabbyChic is right to bring up the issue of the name on the tenancy agreement for claiming Housing Benefit.

It may well be the case that the OP is entitled to some HB if she is now the sole earner in the household - BUT I suspect any situation out of the ordinary, such as the 'wrong' names on the tenancy will lead to the claim being delayed or put on hold while it's checked out, even if the claim is technically valid.

FWIW, my last letting agent, when I told them I was planning to return to work as soon as my DD reached school age, said the property would be ideal for me to take on a lodger as the bedrooms were at opposite ends of the flat - so they aren't all necessarily against the idea, if you are a good tenant.

If I had a sense that the agent, or the LL, trusted me as a tenant I would be upfront with them - not sure that would be the idea for the OP though.

MilaV · 25/04/2011 14:08

I've made an online claim for HB and have an appointment on thursday. I've said I work 15 hours, but it's hard to say, because I am freelancer... Anyway girls, wish me luck!

OP posts:
BigBadMummy · 25/04/2011 14:15

Listen to herHissyness she is an expert

Also bear in mind that if this new person trashes the place it is your deposit that will be lost and if there is not enough deposit to rectify, it will be you being pursued.

I would be upfront with the agent / landlord. They will admire your honesty and also that you are trying to be proactive. It is not in their interest to be obstructive.

If you cannot afford the rent the landlord runs the risk of you defaulting on the rent etc and will listen favourably to you finding a solution before it happens.

As for housing benefit, no they might not accept it but if you receive it direct, they wont know about it. It is only because Mortgage companies will not allow it that most buy-to-let landlords have to say no. But I know of many tenants that are in receipt of it without their landlord's knowledge.

Please be upfront, being underhand is never a good idea.

FabbyChic · 25/04/2011 14:18

Your letting agent will need to complete part of the form in order for you to get housing benefit, why not give them a call to tell them about it tomorrow?

EricNorthmansMistress · 25/04/2011 14:31

FabbyChic where are you getting this from? No the letting agent doesn't need to sign your form for housing benefit. Look on the direct gov website there is a generic housing benefit application form that can be used for any local authority.

SugarPasteFrog · 25/04/2011 15:25

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MilaV · 25/04/2011 15:29

No, when asking for HB they won't pass any details to the LL, there's a clause to ask if you give your consent to this and I said no.

Anyway, I'm not breaking the contract if I ask for HB, right? There's been a change in the circumstances, my landlord could not hold that against me...

OP posts:
wotss · 25/04/2011 16:31

The agent / landlord only needs to complete a form for HB if there is no tenancy agreement in place, so not the case in this instance.

If there is a tenancy agreement, that is used as proof of rent & nothing from the landlord is required.

TotemPole · 25/04/2011 17:03

OP you need to work 16+ hours a week to apply for WTC.

Is your rent high? Look into the new housing allowance caps that came in this April.

EricNorthmansMistress · 25/04/2011 21:08

MilaV they rent to you based on your circs at the time. As long as you carry on paying the rent it doesn't matter where you get the money from. There is no need to tell them if your circs change.

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