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Thread: Possible change of address - not a question for once.

  1. #1
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Possible change of address - not a question for once.

    Last month I finally got round to registering on the local social housing list.

    The system round here is a 'bidding' system, where you are allocated a priority rating, and 'bid' on properties you are interested in.
    Each week new properties are shown on the website and you can bid on up to 3.
    Bids are then sorted and the property offered to the the higest priority bidder.

    I was given a D+ (low priority) rating.

    So imagine my surprise when today I got a phone call offering me the very first property I had 'bid' on, bid was made the same day that I was accepted onto the register.
    And I know there were 7 other bids on the same property that week, it tells you on the site.

    So after just a month on the register, and with a low priority, I have been offered the tenancy of a ground floor, 1 bedroom flat.
    It's in a cul-de-sac, in a decent area less than 2 mins walk from where I live now.
    (And I already know some of the neighbours).

    There's a couple of checks they need to do, ID, benefit income, and talk to my current landlord. But none of that should be a problem.

    Being on IR ESA means of course that all my rent and council tax will be covered.

    I told them all my bills were paid up to date, except that there is an ongoing, long term, problem with Scottish Power with current electricity bill.
    She wasn't particular bothered about that at all, (I got the impression they are used to people having problems with Scottish Power).

    All being well I should have the keys on Thursday to view the inside of the flat, and keep them if I am going to accept it.
    (I'd probably be mad not to accept it, unless there is something major wrong when I see it).

    I'm pretty amazed.
    I had expected to be looking and bidding for months if not years, and to probably have to accept a property that was not idealy located for me.

    I'm just off to have a look at it from the outside.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member beau's Avatar
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    Hope it is suitable for you, it actually sounds ideal

  3. #3
    Finger crossed for you. Would be nice to hear good news for a change

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    I'm Bloody furious.

    The offer of the flat has been withdrawn because my current landlord has told them I have rent arrears.

    It's absurd - he has told them I owe the equivalent of 20 weeks rent from 2011. (Over a grands worth).

    I pointed out that this was clearly ridiculous, if it were true then I would have been evicted long ago, not still here six years later.

    But they have taken his word, without any proof.

    And I can't even easily prove that he is wrong, (or even lying).
    I've never had a rent book and used to pay the rent in cash to his relative who runs a local takeaway.
    I sometimes, but not always, got given a receipt - but it's six bloody years ago who knows what happened to those old bits of paper?

    I've since learned that that was illegal, its a legal requirement to have a proper rent book with certain information in it if you pay your rent weekly. (Maybe grounds for a bit of persuasion there).

    Yes I know it was stupid to pay in cash like that, but that's the way it was set up and who would have imagined it could cause problems six years later?

    I can't work out what he's playing at and am too angry to speak to him at the moment.

    Being charitable it maybe that he has missunderstood their question and has included every time that Housing Benefit has been held up for a couple of weeks, (or more) even though he got it back-paid eventually. (It's paid directly to his bank account).

    Being uncharitable he may have thought that they would pay any arrears he said there were if I got a council house, and was trying it on.

    To be fair to the woman at the housing association, she said I was an ideal prospect who could easily afford the flat and took my points about there being no actual proof of arrears and the eviction issue.
    She tried to argue my case with her manager but it seems that they are red hot on not offering flats with anyone with over a grand in rent arrears, even without proof.
    And they'll soon find someone else for the flat.

    So instead of getting the keys tomorrow the offer is withdrawn and I can't even apply for any other property until this is sorted out.

    I'm going to have to dig through my very large pile of old brown envelopes for the Housing Benefit records, and try and find as many scrappy receipts from before that as I can.
    Hopefully I can find enough to show that he is mistaken. (Or deliberately lying for some reason).

    Even if I can't find a full paper trail I will be seeing what I can do to get this overturned, after all he won't have any proof either and so it's his word against mine.

    I've still lost that flat though and no longer trust my landlord.
    Who knows- he might even try to evict me now?
    (He'll be surprised to find I know just how many tenancy laws he has been breaking).

    Anyway rant over.
    I'm going to the pub, I need a few pints and the rest can wait until tomorrow.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  5. #5
    Senior Member deebee's Avatar
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    I am gutted for you.....

  6. #6
    Senior Member beau's Avatar
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    Oh no, it could be that he doesn't want to lose you as a tenant especially as you pay cash and have no rent book. Another slant on it is that he hasn't declared the cash part to the tax man as revenue. He would be hard pressed to find another tenant who would do that so you suit him down to the ground.

    Sadly, it just wasn't meant to be. Hope you can get it sorted and that you find somewhere suitable even better than that flat.

  7. #7
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    As I understand the process, the 'Choice Based Lettings' schemes are administered by the local Councils; not the Housing Associations. As such, there should be a Senior Housing Officer who should be able to liaise with your HA on your behalf.

    Whilst it is the HA who can pick-and-choose who they accept for their properties, the SHO at the Council should be in a position to act as an intermediary for you.

    Regarding the alleged arrears, what landlord is going to allow a tenant to remain for six years? Ridiculous, especially without proof.

    Maybe also consider the Housing Ombudsman Service for advice.

    Obviously don't give up. Your landlord clearly doesn't want to lose you.
    If you got offered a property from Band D that quickly - you will again.

    You might think 'that' property was ideal - but others that come along might be better. We were in a similar position to you about 18 months ago (different situation though). After months of wrangling with the OT, SHO and 3 HA's, our housing predicament was resolved to a fantastic conclusion.

    Good luck with your new home.

  8. #8
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Nope, I'm not paying cash anymore.
    It's HB paid direct though so the point still stands about regular income.

    And yes who knows if the cash payments went through the books or not. ( I can take a good guess).

    It's odd some rental laws he complies with religiously, others he just ignores.
    He can't claim ignorance, not with all the properties he rents out.

    Thing is I know that he is looking to sell the place, and others that he owns round here.
    So that would be easier if it was vacant possession.

    I'll try to weigh it all up tomorrow when I've calmed down.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  9. #9
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Well that flat is back up on the website as 'Deal of the week'.

    I've actually found what the landlord is talking about and it would be laughable if it hadn't cost me that flat.

    It is an unfinished draft of spreadsheet that I myself was compiling for him. (It is saved on my old PC). It was never completed.

    It shows the expectations of total rent from all three tenants in the property at the time, for a 38 week period in 2011, against the receipts that I personally held.
    (Usually one of us, most often me, would collect the other's rents, pay all 3 together, and get the one receipt).
    I still have my receipts.

    I have also found a marked-up print of the spreadsheet indicating just what each receipt that I hold was for, and which payments were the HB arrears.

    The whole idea of this spreadsheet was to show that the rent payments I had missed whilst waiting for the start of my housing benefit payments, and the backpayment, were later paid up.

    There are 7 receipts 'missing', those held by the other tenants.
    It was intended that those would be added later to fully balance out the sheet.

    So as it stands it shows shortfall of £1200, but that's just the unreceipted difference between the receipts that I do hold and the expected rent from all three tenants.

    It does not show rent arrears at all, merely the difference between the total expected for 3 rents and the one set of receipts.
    Once the other receipts had been added in then it should have balanced.

    I have actually now found one of the 'missing' receipts, scribbled on a post-it note!, for £120 in May 2011.
    So if the 6 still 'missing' receipts are totaled @ the £175 expected payments then that equals £1050 plus the receipt for £120 I have now found = £1170
    Reducing the overall discrepency to only £30.

    Unfortunately I never got the 'missing' receipts off the other tenants, and one of them has now left.
    At the time the landlord accepted that the HB arrears had been paid off and so the sheet was left unfinished.

    Now I just have to get him to remember, and the Housing Association to understand that he's got it wrong.

    (Good job that I saved all those receipts, even the 4 or 5 that are scribbled on post-it notes).
    Last edited by nukecad; 16-03-17 at 14:14.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  10. #10
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    Good luck with 'getting him to remember'.

    Hope you get it sorted and are allowed another chance to move to that flat.

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