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I have outlined the scenario above. My Grandaughter is allowed to appeal against the decision that she is ineligible for HB payment due to the fact that HB has decided that she has no liability to pay the rent due, because the I, the Landlord, am also her Grandma. Their refusal is also based on the fact that the tenancy shows a rental charge of £550.00 but that I told them that if arrears accrued then I would not evict her. This is true I did tell them this, as I was aware the max they would pay her was £500.00 a month, but I also said that if in future her financial circs changed I would then be asking her to make up the shortfall. This appeal needs to be worded very carefully, I feel, and I am not confident that I am able to do this convincingly. Can you help me?
Hi Jo, i not looking for you to draft it, but I do need to watch my criteria. The HB believe that my relationship with the tenant is not a commercial one and that I am taking advantage of the HB, and that they have a duty to protect the public purse. But, if I had known this I would not have invited her to move from the Derby house (in which DCC paid me by bacs) and now I will have to evict her via baillifs. This will mean that Amber Valley will have to re-house her and pay for HB but they will offer her an area of high risk to her already vulnerable mental health. In sum, they will not be saving themselves any money! Just inducing emotional pain and upheaval. Is there any help or chance of avoiding this most undesirable situation.?
Yes, I did declare the relationship. The original application was made to DCC in Feb 2012 when she was pregnant with her first baby. I evicted existing tenants to make room for my grandaughter. I told DCC that I was grandmother and showed them the tenancy agreement. They agreed to pay. Due to domestic violence and her history of drug-abuse and other mental health issues, (police and social workers were frequent visitors to the Derby house), I at great expense whcih I could ill-afford I purchased a house for her her in DE56 with her family all in walking distance. She moved into Amber Valley HB area. She needed support to build her ego and sense of belonging. But now, Amber Valley HB say they will not pay as it is 'personal' and not a commercial arrangement. I assumed it was the person who was eligible but it is the house apparently. Thus, I will be evicting her. She will induce a huge downturn in her recently improved mental health and isolation once again will ensue. I fear the worst!
Yes, you could just clarify one issue that still eludes me and it is this:
Only Grandaughter is allowed to appeal as she is the claimant, not me. I have not been refused -SHE has. It is just me who therefore does not receive! Paradoxically to argue her 'case' she has to talk about my intentions, my actions, my assumptions, my deeds, not her own, so she cannot 'own' her testimony. My second point is: I have precedents for behaving in an 'unlandlord-like' manner towards many of my tenants, especially drug-abusers and single parents. I have rarely taken a deposit of those struggling, I have fed one young couple for months, I have had a couple move in with me during a difficult transition, I have stored someone's stuff for them and lent them money.There exist many acts of kindness, (some of my friends say, 'idoicy') but I am a Volunteer for many organisations, I am a trained Counsellor and I am the most untypical 'Scum-Landlord' one could ever meet. I have never evicted a tenant yet, but many owe me thousands of pounds which I have been forced to write-off. So, how can my Grandaughter appeal using this evidence, that HB's 'image'of typical Landlord behaviour, is not consistent with ME! And besides, I cannot afford to allow her to live rent-free as I am now retired and far more careful with my money, no choice. How do I proceed>
These are valid points which I will give emphasis to in the statement which I will attach to my Grandaughter's claim. Her other set of Grandparents made up the shortfall in HB for the last house (of mine) and continue to send 'shortfall' cheques to me for current new house too. Do you think this fact would be useful in support of showing that rent is expected. Their paying the shortfall has not stopped just because Grandaugher now lives in a different house of mine. The rent for the last house was£550 pcm, as is this new house. But HB max for single Mum with 2 children for a 2-bed house is £500.00, so I got them to agree to pay the shortfall prior to letting the old house to her. I assumed this arrangement would continue from the Grandparents and HB. So far only the Grandparents have honoured and carried it forward as they know this is a commercial agreement, only HB have decided it is suddenly, 'not so'. Can I use this favourably do you think?
The more I think about this the more encouraged I feel...? Do you think so, or might I be weakening my argument.... (I have lost confidence in my own decisions lately)
Hi Jo, 50/50? I am feeling most pessimistic about outcome. Capitalistic Beauracy has no feelings. But, I have a contingency plan...can I run this past you? Here it is: I sell the house my Grandaughter lives in, she lives elsewhere for the time it takes me to sell it and give the proceeds to her Mum's, (i.e. my daughter) live-in partner who then buys another house in this same village and lets it to grandaughter. The result is: her eligibility for HB is restored as landlord is no close relative, is no relative at all. Cost is merely buying and selling and short-term inconvenience. In terms of risks to live-in partner being 'gifted' this property, it is an issue I will explore separately. When he came to declare his relationship to Grandaughter he could legitimately reply, 'NONE'. Sure, he is 'known' to her, but that is not the same thing as 'relationship'. Have I found a reliable way through this quadmire?