Housing benefit/family problem

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    Housing benefit/family problem

    You're all going to love this one. I own a house which I have been letting for about three years. It has recently become vacant and whilst on the market my ex-wife has split up with her partner and can't find anywhere big enough for her and 4 kids (2 of which are mine). It seemed a perfect solution to let her the property, I have no worries that she will do a midnight flit and I know she will look after the place (as well as the reassurance of knowing my kids aren't living in a **** hole).
    The problem is that she needs housing benefit to make the rent. They have refused to pay because she is my ex partner and she also has my kids.
    I am now in a fix. She has been in the house for 6 weeks and has made some contribution towards the rent (but less than half). I cannot afford to let her stay there on that basis as the mortgage is killing me. Equally I don't want to turf her out or have her find somewhere else as I am left with an empty house again.
    My question is, is there a way around it?
    If I let the property to my dad can he sub let it to her and recieve the benefit?
    Alternatively if I get his name put on the mortgage can he do the same?
    I suppose what I want to know is who can be the landlord?

    I am desperate to the resolve this so that they can stay as the arrangement suits everybody. The stupid thing is that they will pay HB for anybody else in the house OR they would pay her HB if the landlord was anyone else but as it stands she will be homeless or living in a dump with four kids and I will have a vacant property and mortgage arrears!!!
    Any advice greatly appreciated.
    Doh

    #2
    Your dad, as an immediate next of kin would not qualify for HB.

    I think your ex-partner needs to appeal the HB decision - I think part of the decision not to award her HB is that the LA see it as a "contrived" tenancy which is one deliberately set up to make use of the HB rules. You and your ex need to convince them that it is not anything other than a property let between a landlord and a tenant on a commercial basis. It may also be a better status if you and ex-wife are divorced rather than simply "split up" and you need to tell HB that she had been living with a partner other than you for x period of time.

    A welfare rights officer at the LA will help you.

    Comment


      #3
      Or contact Shelter on their free advice line

      See the info here

      http://england.shelter.org.uk/advice/advice-7386.cfm

      Comment


        #4
        I wasn't suggesting that my father claim HB but if he sublet to my ex (we are long divorced) then maybe they would pay HB as he would then be her landlord and is neither her ex or (as far as I know!) the father of her children.
        She did go to CAB about the current situation and they said don't bother with an appeal as they will def turn it down.

        Comment


          #5
          I'm afraid to say that I can't offer any advice but can say that the same thing happened to me.

          I lived in a property owned by a company of which myself and my ex partner (we were never married) are directors. I was also unable to claim housing benefit due to the father of my child being a director of the company. Ridiculous really!

          I wish you luck in attempting to resolve your situation.

          Kind Regards

          Joanne

          Comment


            #6
            But you can follow the logic: DSS, or whatever it's called this week, objects to claimant T and his/her closely-related L cooking-up a nepostic and expensive rent inflation scheme designed to maximise cost to public purse. Some will try it on; as always, the honest folk are consequently penalised.
            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

            Comment


              #7
              I can understand your logic Jeffrey (how are you anyway?) but the opposite was the case for me. I was renting the property at slightly below market rent values. My partner and I were also never married and the landlord was in effect the company (which I was led to believe for the purpose of law is a separate 'individual' in its own right).

              I'm sure you will correct me if I am wrong on that score.

              Many Thanks

              J

              Comment


                #8
                Also, whilst I'm thinking about it.... the local council actually has a rent assessor whose job it is to clarify that the rent requested for the property is a true and fair rent. Surely that does away with the potential for over-inflated housing benefit applications...???

                J

                Comment


                  #9
                  Yes- a company is a different legal person from the individual who forms it.
                  Yes- local authority's assessor should determine "real" rent level which DSS etc. will fund in whole or in part.
                  JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                  1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                  2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                  3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                  4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    So the question remains... why will LAs not provide rental assistance to lone parents who have access to property where the landlord (or in my case the company as landlord) is closely related?

                    It seems so unfair, particularly as the LAs are often unable to provide homes! If they are able to provide a home to rent it is often in a cr*p location and usually some distance away from the absent parent. How does this policy assist minimising disruption to the family's life (particularly the children of the family)?

                    J

                    Comment

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