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Do I need to inform Landlord if I claim Housing Benefit?

(38 Posts)
FranklyMe Sat 13-Feb-10 20:51:47

If I am renting privately and believe I am entitled to some HB (I am working so will not be entitled to full amount), would I need to inform my landlord if I made a claim?

I would be getting HB paid to me directly.

wastwinsetandpearls Sat 13-Feb-10 20:53:03

Yes you do.

When we rented our house out we could not rent out to people claiming benefits. I can't remember if that was down to our mortgage or insurance.

cookielove Sat 13-Feb-10 20:53:07

Yes you do, well we had to, so i assume everyone does!

FranklyMe Sat 13-Feb-10 21:32:14

That's interesting. I found something on the net elsewhwere that said you didn;t and wondered if anyone had any experience. Hang on will see if I can find it again.

cookielove Sat 13-Feb-10 21:37:50

ok just asked dp and he said he needed a letter from the landlord to get it. I have a full time job, so he was claiming for his half maybe it is different doing it this way

jaquelinehyde Sat 13-Feb-10 21:46:06

No you don't have to unless stated otherwise in your tenancy agreement.

When applying for it a copy of your tennancy agreement is usually fine.

I am happy to be corrected as things may have changed since I worked for the LA.

FranklyMe Sat 13-Feb-10 21:48:00

Hmm. The claim form says that the tenant has to give permission for the claim to be discussed with the landlord but also says that they may need to contact the landlord to confirm certain tings and can do so without the tenant's permission.

Confusing!!

I am guessing actually that there may well be a clause in many tenancy agreements saying that you have to inform the LL or that you are not allowed to.

The problem is I have found a house to rent but don;t want to ask the Agent if the LL will accept me putting in a claim for HB in case they say no.

I can meet their criteria on income (they won;t take a tenant on their books who has a gross income of less than £18000, but with tax credits & Child Maintenance I just about have that).

Can anyone currently renting privately tell me if they have a clause in their tenancy agreement that prohibits claiming?

Ewe Sat 13-Feb-10 21:48:13

No, just been looking at this myself, not necessary to tell them unless the housing benefit is going to them directly.

Providing you have a copy of your tenancy agreement that outlines your monthly rent? They do need confirmation of that but it doesn't have to be a letter from landlord.

FranklyMe Sat 13-Feb-10 21:50:22

Ah OK thanks, cross-posts Jacqueline.

I can;t make a claim until I have a signed tenancy agreement, so I guess once I have signed, unless the tenancy says I can;t, actually there is nothing stopping me - doesn;t matter if LL knows or not, then, I guess.

I have been a landlady in the past but it's so long ago I can;t remember!!

PDR Sat 13-Feb-10 22:00:27

We are landlords and it's our mortgage lender and insurance company which prevent us from letting to ppl in receipt of housing benefit.

I think this is the case with most mortgage lenders so you will need to find a landlord who owns the property outright and has insurance which allows.

Letting agents should be able to tell you which properties are suitable for you.

By not disclosing this you might make the landlord's buildings insurance void

I claimed housing benefit last year and landlord had specifically said no dss and that anyone claiming HB would be evicted (I wasnt dss when I moved in, made redundant) so I didnt tell him and had it paid directly to me, on the form there is a section asking if HB can contact the landlord to inform them you have made a claim and how much they have awarded, I ticked no and they never contacted him.

FranklyMe Sat 13-Feb-10 22:09:23

Good point PDR. I have had a look at a standard tenancy agreement I found elsewhere and it just said that the tenant gives permission for the LL to be informed if they make a claim.

Do you know if your tenancy agreement states that your tenants may not claim?

There are so few suitable properties available (atm I have a choice of 2) I can see narrowing down the options to those who own outright is going to be really hard sad

I don;t want to be underhand or do soemthing that would cause a LL a problem, just don;t want the Agency to tell me to get lost before I've even started.

ah xpost with pdr, the buildings insurance wasnt the issue with our landlord and he owned the properties outright he just, in his words "wasnt having dss scum in his houses"

happysadconfused Sat 13-Feb-10 22:11:47

I'm just about to enter the renting market (hopefully).
I'm in a bad situ, and have been to housing options people about council housing/associations etc. The lady I talked to there made an appointment for me for a fortnight, but mentioned private landlords to me, to which I said about them not being keen on HB/IS people. She looked at me daft and said, "the law has changed, you don't have to tell them anymore, the money goes straight to you".
We shall see.

happysadconfused Sat 13-Feb-10 22:13:23

ooh niiiice verity.[hmmm]

littleducks Sat 13-Feb-10 22:17:33

No you dont have to tell them to claim and can have it paid directly to you. Its none of their business where you get money from.

However they may have problems wrt their mortgage lensders/building insurance.

So if in tenancy agreement it states you have to inform them you should, if it doesnt you are free to do whatever you like.

PDR Sat 13-Feb-10 22:19:42

OP, no I don't think there is anything in the contract you know... so technically unless the HB contacted the landlord then they might not ever find out.

I know it's highly unlikely but if they did contact the landlord, or something happend which meant a claim on buildings insurance I don't know if it would leave you in a sticky siutation?

I don't know what to say really, as I see it's difficult for ppl on HB but as a landlord I would ask everyone to be honest!

FranklyMe Sat 13-Feb-10 22:20:35

Thinking about it, it must be the responsibility of the LL to ensure that there is a clause in the tenancy agreement if it would invalidate their insurance or be against the terms of their mortgage?

And probably the duty of the Agent to point this out to them, given it's them who usually draw up the tenancy agreements.

I think the only way round this may be to see the tenancy agreement before making any decision.

fairy15 Sat 13-Feb-10 22:22:05

the council pay most of my rent, this goes striaght to me. i remember the council saying that you don't have to tell the landlord, however i did have a form that had to be signed by the landlord or estate agents & they had to fill some boxes in so i'm not sure how it could be done without them knowing as i was going to give it a go!

tw888 Sat 13-Feb-10 22:23:15

No, you don't have to tell your landlord. When I applied for housin benefit I just put his/his agent's details on the form as requested and showed the contract to the officer as a proof of the amount of rent I'm paying. I asked if they were going to contact the landlord as I didn't want him to know I was claiming benefit and they said no.
I'd say check your teancy agreement for any restrictions on claiming housing benefit.

FranklyMe Sat 13-Feb-10 22:23:25

Yes, sorry PDR, I do see your point.

Having been a LL I can see from both sides - this is building insurance so from the tenat's POV the only risk is that they might be made homeless if the house burned down whereas the LL could lose everything.

PDR Sat 13-Feb-10 22:23:25

My DH is now saying there is an extra clause in our contract, along with no smoking, no pets etc.

If there is nothing saying "no HB" then I would assume it's ok?

FranklyMe Sat 13-Feb-10 22:24:52

I thought it must do, PDR.

Because oterhwise, you have no protection if your tenant does claim.

FranklyMe Sat 13-Feb-10 22:27:35

Thanks everyone BTW.

I think I will not mention this to the Agent now, but if I decide to go ahead will obviously have to check the tenancy agreement and if it says I can;t, I will either have to pull out, or take on the tenancy and not claim.

PDR Sat 13-Feb-10 23:01:08

Not a lot of other landlords posted here but here is an old thread which might be of interest:

here

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