My name is Robert Mellors and this article was prompted by me watching the TV programmes about the Benefit Cap, and “How to Get a Council House” last week.
It occurred to me that from my years of experience in working in local government housing departments, and in various advice bureaus, including being a caseworker specialising in debt, benefits, and housing, that I could advise people how to prevent the Benefit Cap from applying to them.
It’s not difficult, you just need to know how to do it, and be willing to make those few simple changes, so if this affects your tenants then you may wish to ask me a question below (or your tenants may wish to).
The Benefit Cap affects families with a larger than average benefit income, most usually due to the number of children in the household. It does not just affect people in London, but the more expensive the property prices then the more significant the Benefit Cap will be.
There are several ways to avoid the Benefit Cap, including making changes to the household or obtaining employment. I can advise on strategies for changing the household composition in some cases, so that everyone is still housed but it is considered differently and thus the Benefit Cap does not apply. I can also advise on strategies for self-employment that would meet the criteria so that the Benefit Cap will not apply. These methods are completely legal, and will benefit the claimant by preventing rent arrears and homelessness.
It would also benefit landlords by avoiding rent arrears and the need to evict welfare benefit claimants. It also benefits the taxpayer (society as a whole), as dealing with homeless households cost the taxpayer far more than preventing their homelessness, and it can also help people make a legitimate living from self-employment long term so that they eventually contribute taxes to society rather than stay on welfare benefits.
Getting the right advice, and taking a few very simple steps to change things, can make a massive difference to people’s lives.