Browse All Tribes or choose a Tribe below:
By signing up I agree to Property Tribes Terms and Conditions
Already a PT member? Log In
Sign Up With Facebook, Twitter, or Google
By signing up, I agree to Property Tribes Terms and Conditions
Already a PT member? Log In
Don't have an account? Sign Up
To reset your password just enter the email address you registered with and we'll send you a link to access a new password.
I've been asked if I would consider a single mum with four children on housing benefit as a tenant.The property in question is a two bedroomed terrace and the family obviously requires three bedrooms, but she is proposing to use the dining room as a third bedroom. This would still leave a separate living room, kitchen and downstairs cloakroom.If the property was defined as a three bedroomed house her housing benefit entitlement would cover the rent whereas it would not as a two bedroomed house.I'm not sure about the ethics of this. I don't want to be seen as a slum landlord providing overcrowded homes to desperate families at the state's expense. Any thoughts?
Alison, this is standard procedure in student houses.
I was approached by two couples, one with a small child to rent a 2 bed flat last year and I decided it wouldn't work.
Your situation could work, though you'd have to be prepared for a lot of wear and tear.
What ages are the children?
I'm not sure. Primary school age and younger I think. That's a good point about wear and tear,
You are incorrect
It doesn't matter whether it is a 1 bed property
It is the prevailing domestic circumstances that indicates the level of HB achievable.
It has nothing to do with ethics.
If a HB family wants to live in a smaller property but pays the rate that HB allows then that is their choice
This way HB families can afford to stay in an area if that is what they choose.
Obviously it depends on child ages and gender.
LHA is based on the domestic status that qualifies for a certain amount of LHA.
So providing you don't mind the property being used a different way then there is no issue
If the family is entitled to the 3 bed rate then that is what they will receive irrespective of you only having 2 official bedrooms.
So you charge the 3 bed rate as rent and allow them to use the living room as a bedroom
Yes there will be additional wear and tear but the 3 bed LHA rate will more than compensate!!
The arch exponent of this particular strategy is JC though I am not sure with the advent of UC whether this strategy is still possible.
I don’t see any particular issue with taking the dining room and turning it into a bedroom.
However, you don’t give the ages and gender of the children. Sharing bedrooms is not permissible if the children are opposite sex and over the age of 10. That is overcrowding and a criminal offence.
It's not a criminal offence. Children of different gender sharing was never a problem. It was just awarded more points when being calculated for eligibility for a council house years ago.
I'm afraid you are simply wrong!
David is correct.
It has nothing to do with council points.
It may have done in the past; but not now.
You try putting a male and female child over 10 together and see what happens.
I suggest you approach the council to ascertain their requirements.
They will be able to keep you the right side of the law!!
The LHA rate / entitlement goes with the person not the property
LHA is calculated on the basis of the number of bedrooms that you are assessed as needing.
You are allowed one bedroom for:
So if the family fit the criteria for a 3 bed you will get that rate
The dining room in most cases would be classed as suitable as a bedroom
Check with social services if you are worried about overcrowding or mixing sexes
They see it through a different lense than just the clinical LHA rate
Each families dynamics are different
For instance if one child is a step child different rules apply re sharing
There are other rules which can apply
For instance is one child is an epileptic or diagnosed ADHD they may be entitled to their own bedroom
I have a few of these
I have often taken families with a higher rate entitlement than the number of actual bedrooms
Some refer to it as an enhanced LHA strategy.
A mother and new born baby for instance attracts the 2 bed rate even if they live in a studio flat
They can live quite happily like that for maybe the 1st year .
Some will see it as a non ethical practice but often they dont understand the underlying circumstances
If I put a mum and newborn in a studio flat taking them away from a friends sofa in their living room that is a better option for them
Its also likely to be better than the streets , a woman`s refuge , the home of a violent partner etc etc
There are a dozen examples I could give where offering a mum and four kids a 2 bed house is a positive act of kindness towards them
That`s not a slum landlord that`s a compassionate landlord
Jonathan Clarke. http://www.buytoletmk.com
Many thanks all of you for your very helpful responses.
Most of the issues have been addressed by earlier posters.
Under HB/LHA the single parent would be eligible for, at least, the 3 bedroom rate. However, having 4 children, she'll almost certainly have a deduction to this rate, due to the imposition of the Benefits Cap. How much of a cap will depend on the level of her eligible rent (3 bed rate for area) combined with any other state benefits she receives. Details of the BC operates and access to a BC calculator can be found in this link.
UC Advice & Advocacy Ltd
Plus of course OBC outside London was cut by £6000 pa in Nov 2016 (£3000 pa cut in London)