Marriage break up and loss of job will turn into DSS tenancy

Marriage break up and loss of job will turn into DSS tenancy

10:37 AM, 28th January 2016, About 6 years ago 13

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Tricky situation: I have a sole 3 bed BTL property and have a really nice family in it who both worked. I learned last month that the wife was to lose her job so there would be only one wage earner. She was looking for work.marraige

I did my 6 month inspection 2 days ago and the house is in immaculate condition.

I then learned yesterday that the wife has had enough of her husband has asked him to leave. He has already applied for a flat. She has applied to the DSS for rent assistance.

The rent is £600 and she will get about £470. No notices to quit have been received yet and the wife is asking if she can stay on with her 2 children.

Serious dilemma…
She is a good tenant and looks after the place but if I agree to her staying she says she will need new tenancy agreement for the DSS. I don’t do DSS!?

If it transpires that she can’t afford the rent then will I have the DSS telling her to stay till the day I evict her.

Or: I ask her to leave now she could run out of money while serving notice and then it could get really tricky. Will the DSS pay her some rent while she looks for another place?

Or: If I don’t agree to a new tenancy agreement will she receive any DSS money and then obviously default if she doesn’t.

What happens about the deposit?
Could she get a lodger?
Too many questions???

I had also been discussing with them the potential for rent rises when the government change the rules on tax relief! No chance of that now he is leaving.

Any advice would be welcome

John



Comments

by Alison King

21:33 PM, 29th January 2016, About 6 years ago

I had a similar situation to this too. In my case the tenancy agreement was in the husband's name. I contacted him and arranged for him to write confirming that he was relinquishing the tenancy and signing over the deposit to the wife. I made out a new agreement in her name and reprotected the deposit. We had a bumpy patch whilst her housing benefit was sorted out and she fell several weeks behind with the rent. But I felt that she was making an effort to sort it out and after a few months she had caught up again and everything was fine. Eventually the husband reappeared having found work in another town and she and the childen left to join him there leaving the house in good condition and with no debts. It's easy to be mistrustful but sometimes it pays to give people a chance.

by Kate Mellor

12:54 PM, 12th February 2016, About 6 years ago

Hi John,

How have things progressed with your tenant? I would be interested to hear what you've decided.

As a matter of interest relevant to one of the points made above about councils clawing back housing benefits overpayments: I've had two long term tenants in the past two years be found out for overclaiming unbeknownst to us and we did not have any money taken back. Effectively it was viewed as a fraud perpetrated by the tenant on the council. As we were not aware of it we were not held liable for failing to report it. We weren't even contacted other than by the usual letter telling us that the payments would stop. We were in direct receipt in both cases.

In one instance we had to evict for non-payment and in the other she is still in situ however it did take a lot of effort to get her to start making regular payments and she still has some arrears, but we are getting there.

My opinion is it depends on how organised and motivated she is to some extent, but at the end of the day she needs to be able to know where the additional funds will come from to top up the rent. I have several brilliant housing benefits tenants that I wouldn't wish to lose.

by John Dixon

13:18 PM, 12th February 2016, About 6 years ago

Hi Kate.
I am still waiting on an update but it looks like the lady will actually leave and the man will stay. The rent is still being paid at the moment. I will let you all know what happens when the dust has settled.


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