Accidental landlord with daughter tennant who has lost her job.

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    Accidental landlord with daughter tennant who has lost her job.

    Bit of a long post for a first one but I've been lurking here for 12 months or so.

    I am an accidental landlord who has been renting a house we own ( without mortgage ) to my daughter since 1st of August 2009.
    She is our only child.

    The house was previously my mother in law's and she died in 2008 at which point I began renovations there.

    Prior to that date my daughter lived at our home with us and it was our suggestion that she moved to the MIL's once renovations were completed to avoid any rogue tenants, new boilers etc being stolen and she having a personal interest in the property regarding her inheritance from us when the time comes.
    At that time she was receiving a grant for University and had a part time job out of University hours.

    We suggested she would be able to afford the rent by taking a lodger on the 'rent a room scheme' and she had a friend she had known for a long time and got on well with who was looking for a room.
    That friend was in full time employment and was easily, then, able to afford the room rent. We fitted and decorated the room to his taste and he had shared use of the rest of the house.
    There was no romantic involvement, they each had their own boy/girlfriends.

    He rented the room and all went well for about 7 - 8 months when his work hours began to decrease, he found he could no longer afford it, and decided he needed to move out and back to his parents.

    This meant our daughter could no longer afford the full rent but we were intent on being very flexible and accommodating with her rent payments. She accrued some arrears but made them up as soon as she could and we were satisfied with that arrangement.
    She decided that, she, and her long time boyfriend would live together in the house as they had talked about it before.

    Then her University grant ended for that academic year, and unfortunately so did her part time job.
    But her long time boyfriend had two jobs and was ably to afford the rent and their living expenses whilst she was searching for a job.
    Then one of his jobs ended too.
    We continued to apply the same flexibility to the situation to enable her and her, now, partner to remain there.
    We were, then, able to afford that flexibility, and knew, from past history, that she would make up payments as soon as she could.

    Then my hours at work were cut. And now we can not afford that flexibility in the long term. Several months at the most.

    In 12 months I will receive a pension and large lump sum from a deferred pension scheme and that will remove the problem completely - but that is 12 months away. And in the meantime we can not apply the flexibility in my daughter's rent payments.
    I would hope she would have a job relative to her qualifications by then.
    And for her partner to have more income too.

    I think my daughter and her partner might be eligible for LHA ( ex Housing benefit I discovered tonight) benefit.
    But this rental agreement between the daughter and us has been informal so as to give the flexibility it required.

    The rental payment she paid in the early months included all bills and council tax and it worked OK at that time for 7 - 8 months.
    I did that so she could not accrue debts without our knowing.

    It would appear we need to formalise the tenancy and arrangements for payment of bills.

    And am I a suitable landlord in LHA's eyes as there has been no formal tenancy agreement for the months this worked OK.

    Any suggestions welcome.

    Hoss

    #2
    If you can show the LHA department that the tenancy has not been contrived to make use of the LHA/HB regulations (and I think you can from what you say) then she might be able to claim that benefit.

    Speak to your local HB/LHA dept at the council.

    Comment


      #3
      I rent one of my personal properties to a family member who is in receipt of housing benefit and have not found any issues with the housing department in relation to her claim.

      They will require a tenancy agreement and I wrote a supporting letter explaining the situation and added comparables of local property and their prices to show that a fair rent was being achieved when the claim was placed.

      It will help you as she has already lived in the property paying her way for sometime.

      Comment


        #4
        Thank you both for your advice.

        We are still looking at the complexities of this regarding an LHA claim.

        Hoss

        Comment


          #5
          The LHA will probably question your future intentions and may ask questions like ‘if rent stopped what action would you take’ and they will expect the answer to be the same as it would be from a typical commercial let, e.g. issue S8, S21 etc and eventually repossess. If you give this answer but in 12 months time, because of the change in your financial situation, stop charging rent then at that time the LHA may consider this to be a contrived tenancy and take appropriate action.

          Also the LHA pay benefit according to the needs of the individual, so they will pay an amount that a single person would need in your daughter’s case, which may not be the amount which you would expect at market rates for the house she is in. If you reduce the rent to match what the LHA give, then this may also be considered a contrivance.

          You have to be seen to be running the tenancy in a commercial manner, and need to consider what may happen in the future that could change that view.
          I also post as Moderator2 when moderating

          Comment

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