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Thread: Uc lcwra

  1. #1
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    Uc lcwra

    Hi everyone just wondering if someone could give any advice pls ?

    I’ve been on UC LCWRA for 4 years ( MH issues , still in therapy twice weekly and on quite a few different meds ) .
    I’ve been living in the same bedsit for years and years and really think it doesn’t help me , I’ve had problems with other people here, quite a few people have left because of me and Ive had the police out coz I was attacked and ended up having my head glued up in hospital. I really want to move and somehow get a studio flat where I don’t have to share , I’m diagnosed with EUPD, depression and panic disorder, so my moods can be erratic . I live in London and was just wondering if I found somewhere outside of my borough would I then need to be reassessed or fill in another UC50 or would it just be a change of circumstances? I’ve never had a face to face since being on benefits, it’s all been paper based and I haven’t filled in a UC50 for over 2 years. Also if you claim LCWRA is the housing element of UC at a higher rate? I just really think having a place where I don’t have to share the kitchen and bathroom and see people would really help my MH. I’d love council place because of the stability and security but that another long process .

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    As you are already on UC it would just be a change of address, wherever you went.

    Having LCWRA does not change the amount of UC for Housing Element.

    But moving to a place of your own could/should provided you are over 35.

    From what you say it seems you are in a private rental bedsit (probably a HMO), and so will get the 'Shared rate' of the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) for that area.
    Or the actual rent if it is lower than the LHA rate.

    If you get a private rental on your own then, provided you are over 35, you would get the '1-bedroom' rate of LHA for that area, which will be higher than 'shared rate'.
    Or the actual rent if it is lower than LHA.

    Note that it will not be easy to get a private rental on your own. - Landlords prefer working tenants with good wages, and if you have been having problems with the people where you are now then they may be wary that you will get into problems with your new neighbours too.

    If however you can get a Social Rental (council flat or Social Housing Association) the UC-HE would pay the full rent, less certain Service Charges that may be included in the rent. (eg water charges, heating charges, etc).
    However if it had more that one bedroom then something would also be taken off for the spare room.

    You should have a word with your councils welfare team about your housing situation, but as you know Social Housing is in short supply.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks nukecad , I live in a private bedsit and the rent falls way below the LHA rate so it’s all paid . It’s good to know that I’m entitled to the 1 bedroom rate as I’m over 40 ( I think it’s about £295pw for my area. ) even living with 1 other would benefit my MH even more , having to be in a small flat with 3 other rooms is a real struggle for me. So if I moved would it just be a case of updating my address on the journal and then sending / uploading tenancy agreement/ letter? Would they make the rent amount changes straightaway ? As I’m LCWRA I read the benefit cap doesn’t apply, but anything above the LHA I would pay myself ? I’m hoping a change of circumstances wouldn’t mean filling in a UC50 or having an assessment. My therapist did refer me to an organisation in my borough last year that deals with housing issues/MH etc for people in my borough . I think they can help with social housing and as I’m already registered with them for my MH, maybe I would be seen as vulnerable priority with my local council.

  4. #4
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    Sorry for all the questions

  5. #5
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Yes. You just tell them on your journal when the move happens and they'll want to see the new TA or other evidence of the tenancy and rent amount.
    I wouldn't tell them before you have the new TA signed, until then you don't have a new tenancy.

    By itself moving address shouldn't mean a new UC50, but you may be due for one anyway.

    Changes of circumstamce in UC are backdated to the start of the monthly period in which the change happens. (Most changes work like that in UC).
    So even if you move on the last few days of your monthly UC period the new Housing Element will be backdated to the start of that period.
    That means that if the rent/LHA is higher at the new place you win part of a month, if the rent/LHA is lower you lose out part of a month.

    You have to pay the rent even if it's higher than LHA, but UC Housing Element will only pay you up to LHA.
    (And note if living with someone else then it would still be Shared Rate LHA).

    And don't forget that there may be a period where you have to pay rent on both properties.
    If you are on a fixed term tenancy and are still in that fixed term then you are liable to pay the rent until the end of it, whether you are there or not.
    If your fixed term has ended and your tenancy has gone month-to-month, it probably has if you've been there years, then you need to give your landlord at least a months notice ending on the monthly aniversary of your tenancy agreement. (Although the landlord can agree to accept less notice if they are being nice, or if they want you out).

    UC-HE will not pay rent for 2 properties except in special circumstances.
    However one of those circumstances is if you had to leave for 'Fear of Violence' , that would need to be backed up by a police crime number, (which you should have from when you were attacked and called them out), or by the council.
    It's a specialist area, that organisation you were referred to should know more about it.

    You should definitely get in touch with that organisation you were referred to, and explain that you have been attacked (by another tenant?) and so feel unsafe living where you are, and that it's affecting your mental health.
    In your circumstances they may well be able to get you high on the list for a social rental property.
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  6. #6
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    Thanks nukecad , I did call the organisation today and the lady I spoke to was absolutely fantastic , she spent over an hour on the phone with me going through everything including all my MH issues and has actually told me that I’m entitled to a 1 bed flat, she actually put in the application to my local council whilst I was on the phone to her and I have a telephone assessment with council in a few weeks. I think it all happened fast because of all my MH evidence going back years and the fact that I’m in a long term therapy programme under CMHT and on various meds. She said if I don’t get social housing they will help me find a private flat , she was absolutely amazing on the phone.
    I have never had a tenancy agreement since living here , I just got a letter from landlord 5 years ago stating the rent etc for Universal Credit . She then said as I’d never had a tenancy agreement it actually makes the process easier as I have no real rights living here and landlord doesn’t even have to issue me with an eviction notice if he wants me to leave . It was a good few years ago that I was attacked so not sure if bringing it up would still be relevant?
    It was all really positive things today , I just have to see what happens after the council assessment but this organisation seems very positive that with all my MH history and my age I’ll have a good outcome . I’ll keep you posted . Thanks for your help.

  7. #7
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Good to hear it went well and has eased your mind somewhat.

    I don't think she is quite correct about the tenancy and notice. - Unless your landlord also lives in the same building which would make you a lodger not a tenant and has different legal requirements for notice, and so on?

    You don't need a written TA, a verbal agreement is still legally a tenancy.
    (I don't have a written TA, my LL lives elsewhere so I can't be a lodger which makes me a tenant with a tenants rights and responsibilities).

    But that may not matter anyway unless the LL wants to be awkward.
    And TBH perhaps the LL would be happy to see you go if there has been disruption with the others.
    Last edited by nukecad; 25-03-21 at 22:15.
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  8. #8
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    Yes I think you’re right nukecad . I read up after and she can’t be right , that’s worrying because she’s meant to be an emergency housing advisor . I see that he needs to issue me a section 21 . I’m pretty sure I’m on a periodic tenancy but can’t remember signing one . I’ve been here such a long time though that I’ll have to go through all my old documents just to be sure. If he does issue me an eviction notice it’ll probably strengthen my case even more .

  9. #9
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Does your landlord live in the same building or not?

    If he doesn't and you have been there that long without a new TA every six month/year then you will be almost certainly be on a 'Statutory Periodic Tenancy' (SPT).
    You don't need to sign anything, an SPT happens automatically by law when a Fixed Term rental period ends with no new TA being signed.

    The landlord only has to issue an s21 (no fault eviction) notice if he wants to evict you.

    But I wouldn't worry about it.
    The s21 eviction process in normal times is that the LL issues an s21 which has to give 2 months notice, when that 2 months are up he can go to court to get a Possession Order, once he has the PO he has to book baliffs to actually evict. It can all take months.
    (Many/most attempted s21's would fail at the court stage because the form had not been completed properly or the LL hadn't done other things that he should have).

    But that's normal times and times are not normal.
    Under covid an s21 has to give 6 months notice, the courts arent working fully so it's taking much longer to get a PO, and the baliffs aren't allowed to evict except in very specific curcumstances.
    Basically at the moment a s21 notice means nothing and a landlord has very little (almost none) chance of evicting someone using the s21 process.

    The s21 process was due to be scrapped anyway, s21's were supposed to be so a LL could get his property back to live in him/herself but too many landlords have been using them for other reasons.

    There is also a Section 8 eviction, but for that the LL has to give a good legal reason for eviction.
    Again under covid rules the baliffs can't evict anyone unless it's for anti-social behaviour (with violence) or over 6 months rent arrears.

    Overall a landlord has very, very, little chance of evicting anybody as long as they are paying their rent - for the next year at least.

    On the other hand as a SPT tenant you only have to give the landlord one months notice ending on a aniversary of the rental period.
    (So you may want to find the date you moved in to know what day of the month that aniversary is).

    Regardless of all the above; no matter who wants to give notice the tenant and landlord can agree to shorter notice if it suits them both - that's called a 'Surrender of Tenancy'.
    Last edited by nukecad; 26-03-21 at 17:43.
    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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    No landlord doesn’t live in the property.
    I did actually speak to him today and he’s actually told me he is actually planning on selling the property soon so in a way I’ve beat him to it. He’s actually been really good and understanding over the years with me and my MH issues . But it’s time for me to find something more stable. Hopefully my meeting with local council goes ok but I already know that I won’t be offered Social housing so hopefully this organisation I’m in touch with will help me find something private that is more stable and secure. I don’t think he’ll issue a section 21 and without that I know the Council have no duty to help .

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