Hypothetical Tenancy...

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    Hypothetical Tenancy...

    Hi there!

    I am a single parent, homeowner (jointly with my ex) and current benefit claimant. Since my children's dad left 2 years ago I have been in receipt of IS and HB covering the interest on my mortgage. My youngest child is 2 now, and I wish to return to work. I could go back to teaching, but what I REALLY want to do is move from this godforsaken town I've found myself stuck in, and retrain as a midwife!

    Now for the hypothetical part: I am in the tentative stages of thinking about which institutions to list on my UCAS form, and what it all boils down to is whether I'd be eligible to claim LHA, and subsequently able to find a LL willing to accept me as a tenant if I were to be in receipt of it, not working but studying full-time for the next 3 years.

    I really just want to get out of this place and start afresh with my girls somewhere where the average age of the inhabitants isn't about 50, where there are opportunities for them and for myself, and where I won't have over an hour to commute to uni/placement as I would do here (which is a rubbish course at that), adding yet more hours onto their time in childcare. BUT at the moment we live in a nice house, in a safe, quiet (boring) area, my eldest attends a fab primary school, etc., and I obviously am not about to sell it to discover the only place I can manage to find to rent is on the 14th floor of a council block.

    So basically, my question is, were someone 'like' me to approach you as a prospective tenant - someone with bank and mortgage statements aplenty, but no previous LL to provide a reference, someone without a job but with a letter of acceptance onto a midwifery degree at a good university, someone educated, well-presented and articulate who doesn't LOOK like they are going to behave in any way other than as a model tenant, and someone with adequate funds from the sale of her property to pay several months' rent in advance, or whatever was acceptable to you - would you consider my application? I would be looking for a modern and well-kept 2 bed flat, in a relatively nice area with decent primary schools in the vicinity, good transport links, etc., basically the "average" property in the LHA band I am supposed to be able to afford.

    Apologies for the long post, just thought I should try to give as much info as possible. Incidentally, the university I REALLY want to apply to is King's College London, and I'm at a complete loss as to what a person in my situation would be able to find to rent in London were I to apply and be accepted.

    Thanks, hope someone can help!

    #2
    Speak to the Universities Accommodaton Offices, the vast majority have their own duty to make sure all first years have a place in university accommodation, if not they have LLs that would be able to accommodate your needs.

    Comment


      #3
      First thing to do is check your entitlement to LHA - the amount you are entitled to, in the area you want to move (obviously areas have different levels - no point councils allowing you London rates for a dodgy part of Middlesborough.

      Second thing to do is look for the house prices where you want to study, that are suitable for you and your family.

      There will generally be a difference between the LHA you are entitled to and the rent for the house. This is the top-up, which you will need to fund yourself.

      The difficulty is finding landlords that are willing to accept rent somewhere near what they want and what you can afford. This has been compounded by the Governments decision to give the tenant the freedom to make (or not, in many cases) rental payments to the landlord by paying LHA direct to the tenant.

      This has resulted in a dramatic drop in landlords accepting Housing benefit - as the NLA (I think) said in their newsletter - "would the last landlord accepting housing benefit please turn off the lights" (I paraphrase).

      However, if you were in Liverpool I would consider renting to you - we have considered various tenants in similar students, although a standard student house is not suitable (due to rent multiples on a per room basis) plenty of family homes are.

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks Emma,

        I have spoken to a couple. Manchester actually has purpose built accommodation for families, and plenty of it, which is great in some respects, but it's also about as terribly located as you could want for schooling; I don't mind having to drive them a bit to get to school, but of course there's a problem with not being in the catchment area for the school you want. King's have no facilities for students with children, and of course they can put me in touch with LLs but again, I haven't even applied yet, let alone been offered a place, and it's important to me to know that I'm not going to forced into taking some grotty student flat in an area of London where the schools are rubbish. I certainly don't expect a penthouse in Knightsbridge, but it would be comforting to know that I could look up the LHA rate bands, look on Gumtree or Rightmove and see what's available, and potentially make a judgement about area/schools/travel to uni based on what I can "afford" with the LHA...

        Would you rent to me, Emma?

        Comment


          #5
          Oooh, and MrAgent, seems I was typing as you were.

          I have been doing exactly as you advised, and checking bandings against what's advertised on rightmove, as an initial step, and the top up bit isn't a problem - I will have a few thousand from the house sale, enough to be able to make some advance payments and to tide me over re. top up rent, etc. And for the past 2 years I've had to make up the shortfall between the BH covering mortgage interest and the capital repayment part of the mortgage, and have done so without recourse to NHS bursaries, student loans and grants and the released equity from my house - all things I will have when I start uni again

          I obviously understand there are reasons many LLs want to let their properties to professionals, with an income and references, and I suppose my question was, in essence, whether this is is fixed in stone for the majority of you, or whether my case would be one you'd be willing to consider, and if so, what conditions would you require I meet?

          Thanks so much - this is all really helpful to me.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by uber View Post
            I wish to return to work. I could go back to teaching, but what I REALLY want to do is move from this godforsaken town I've found myself stuck in, and retrain as a midwife!
            Good for you.

            Originally posted by uber View Post
            So basically, my question is, were someone 'like' me to approach you as a prospective tenant - someone with bank and mortgage statements aplenty, but no previous LL to provide a reference, someone without a job but with a letter of acceptance onto a midwifery degree at a good university, someone educated, well-presented and articulate who doesn't LOOK like they are going to behave in any way other than as a model tenant, and someone with adequate funds from the sale of her property to pay several months' rent in advance, or whatever was acceptable to you - would you consider my application?
            I would definitely consider you-but I don't have properties in London. Bearing in mind LOOKs can be deceptive, the decision would be based on hard evidence.

            Originally posted by uber View Post
            .... or whether my case would be one you'd be willing to consider, and if so, what conditions would you require I meet?
            Proof of your home ownership/account up to date till disposal
            Proof of funds to make advance payment and/or cover your top up
            Guarantor
            Offer letter from College & your acceptance

            I'd need to talk to you in more depth to gauge the "person" and let my instinct do its own thing.

            If you do find a College in Cambridgeshire, PM me.

            Comment


              #7
              Lots of uni's now offer family type accommodation. As you have found out, they are generally in uni areas which means inner cities with limited school options.

              You will also have to check very carefully your LHA entitlement. As a student you will be assumed to take up your full entitlement of grants and student loans on offer. As a parent with dependents this could be quite high (relatively speaking) and this will limit your entitlement to LHA. I'm not even sure of your LHA entitlement. Students with no dependents and only the basic loan (no grants) don't get any LHA, yet have to find some pretty high rents in some areas.

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