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Ask Ash Your Own Question

Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I am a private tenant and am a self employed single mother

Customer Question

I am a private tenant and am a self employed single mother of two young children under the age of 16. The rents in my locale have gone through the roof of late and my landlord has put up my rent past what the recent government cuts allow and past what I can afford to make up the shortfall of. My landlord has put up the rent for this next twelve month period and a tenancy agreement has been signed by me and I have given this to housing benefit. I was advised by housing benefit that if the rent was put up above what I could afford then the council could help. The process being that housing benefit would refuse to pay the full amount and as I couldn't pick up the shortfall then the landlord would evict me. I would then get 8 weeks notice to quit in which time I go to the council housing dept and they would upon my eviction give me emergency housing. They would not do this however if I was evicted for rent arrears. Have I made a mistake by signing the tenancy agreement or should I ask the landlord to revoke that and issue another which then I don't sign and go straight to eviction?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.

Alex Watts : Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : What is the status of your housing benefit application please?
JACUSTOMER-9b9rz6fz- :

The status is up and running and has been for about 4 years now, depending upon my income it changes from time to time but is a constant and live claim.

Alex Watts : Ok. You pay the shortfall every month?
JACUSTOMER-9b9rz6fz- :

The shortfall is worked out periodically when I report a change to my circumstances or they want an update, then I fill out an income and expenses form and they calculate if I owe them money which I pay back gradually off each of my payments from them or if they owe me money, they then reimburse me.

Alex Watts :

Ok - I am not sure what your question of me today is please? How can I help?

JACUSTOMER-9b9rz6fz- :

I want to try for a council property in my area. I was informed by housing benefit that when the landlord puts the rent up I bring the new tenancy agreement to them with all relevant documentation, bank statements etc. and they will refuse to pay this as it is over their limit. Then the landlord goes to court to evict me and upon receipt of notice to quit, which they tell me is eight weeks I come to the housing dept and inform them. Next, I have to stay in the place where I am right up until the day of eviction and then present myself back to the council as homeless and provided I'm on the housing list, they will give me emergency/temporary housing whilst I bid for somewhere permanent.

JACUSTOMER-9b9rz6fz- :

My concern is that because I've signed the tenancy agreement, I will be weakening or voiding my claim to being emergency/temporarily housed by the council.

JACUSTOMER-9b9rz6fz- :

Am I supposed to refuse to sign the tenancy agreement and go straight to eviction and on what grounds in order to protect myself from being homeless with no cushion. The reason I ask is because the woman at housing benefit also said that I won't get help if I'm being evicted due to rent arrears and if I sign the agreement then I'm agreeing to this rent and maybe voiding my rights to the sort of help that I need at this time.

Alex Watts :

I would have refused to sign yes.

Alex Watts :

Then the Landlord could have asked you to leave

Alex Watts :

If you are evicted for rent arrears the Council are unlikely to help

Alex Watts :

I would have not signed and ask the Landlord to start possession proceedings

JACUSTOMER-9b9rz6fz- :

Thank you

Alex Watts :

I am sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you today please?

JACUSTOMER-9b9rz6fz- :

Ok, so can the landlord revoke that tenancy agreement to one I can afford for a short period and then issue another with the estate agent at the much higher price which I then refuse to sign?

Alex Watts :

IF he is willing to yes.

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

JACUSTOMER-9b9rz6fz- :

And what is the shortest rental period he can make a contract for?

Alex Watts :

1 week

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify>

JACUSTOMER-9b9rz6fz- :

Yes thank you.

Alex Watts :

Great.

Alex Watts :

If I could invite you to rate my answer

Alex Watts :

If the system wont let you please say

Alex Watts :

If you need more help please click reply

JACUSTOMER-9b9rz6fz- :

Hello Alex,

JACUSTOMER-9b9rz6fz- :

If

JACUSTOMER-9b9rz6fz- :

Hello Alex, if you wouldn't mind just outlining the terms of revoking a tenancy agreement to me. Is there a time limit and does one have to provide a reason and are there limits to these reasons?

Alex Watts :

No.

Alex Watts :

If the Landlord consents he can just revoke it, its that somple

Alex Watts :

* simple *

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

JACUSTOMER-9b9rz6fz- :

Yes thank you

Alex Watts :

Great. If I could invite you to rate my answer please

Alex Watts :

If the system wont let you please do say

Alex Watts :

If you need more help please click reply

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.

Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.

Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/

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