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Thread: Housing element advice pls

  1. #1
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    Housing element advice pls

    Any advice on this would be massively appreciated

    I get UC LCWRA and get HE , I’m thinking of leaving my current flat, I’ve found somewhere else but there are 3 days between current tenancy ending and new one starting. I would probably have to store my things at a friends and sleep on the floor for these 3 days . Does this affect change of circumstances on UC, would they just deduct the few days from UC HE?

    I can’t find anything on the web about this at all .

    Thanks for any comments

  2. #2
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    From what I remember from my last moving change of circumstances it never stated when the last day of my tenancy ended only when the new one begun , I don’t want to get myself into any trouble by not disclosing it though .

  3. #3
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    UC works on whole monthly periods and not the actual dates when changes happen.

    In UC a change of circumstance generally applies from the start of the monthly AP in which the change occurs.

    So for a flat move happening in the middle of your UC period the change would apply to the start of that period and your UC-HE that month would be paid as if it was all for the rent at the new property.
    In other words you'd get paid the AP months rent for the new property even for the time you were actually in the old property that month.
    (So you could win a bit or lose a bit depending on the relative rents).

    If there was an overlap of tenancies you would normally only get paid UC-HE at the rate for the new place.
    (There are a few very limited circumstances where you can get UC-HE for both).

    In the case of a tenancy gap you should inform them of both the leaving date and the new tenancy start date.
    EDIT- Line removed, after a rethink it was incorrect.

    We'd need to know a few more details of the two properties, but -

    If these are both private rentals, and you already get your full LHA rate, then the UC-HE rates are going to be the same anyway at your LHA rate.

    If one or both are social rentals, or if you aren't currently getting your full LHA rate in a private rental, then the UC-HE rate may change.

    PS. If there is a MPTL (direct payment to landlord) in place at the old rental.
    No MPTL would be made for that last part-month, because the C of C applies from the start of that UC month.
    You would get the UC-HE for the new rental instead and have to sort out yourself with the old landlord what was still owing.
    Last edited by nukecad; 03-01-22 at 17:25.
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  4. #4
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    Thanks

    They are both private rentals and I pay my own rent from UC.
    I can’t remember there being a tenancy end date on Change of circumstances on UC account so I’ll probably have to call them up. Will they then work how much rent I pay daily and take off the 3 days ? I’m pretty sure they’ll mess the whole thing up. The new place I’d be moving to would be a third less in rent than my current place.
    Last edited by Pau; 02-01-22 at 18:52.

  5. #5
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    TBH I've not had to use the C of C section on my UC account (yet).

    They will ask for proof of the new tenancy and when it started, they'll want to see a copy of the tenancy agreement.
    They will ask for extra info on your journal if they want it.


    I've been thinking more about the way a change of tenancy is done in UC:

    I said above (now removed) that technically for those 3 days you will have no liability to pay rent, and liability to pay rent is one of the conditions for getting UC-HE.

    But that is overridden by the fact that a C of C in UC applies from the start of the AP where it happened.

    For Example - Imagine that you don't have a tenancy at all and then start a new tenancy part-way through an AP.
    The C of C applies from the start of that AP, you would be treated as liable to pay rent from the start of that AP, and would be paid UC-HE for that whole AP, regardless of the actual tenancy start date.

    That applies equally if you end a tenancy part-way through an AP, the change applies from the start of the AP and you will not get any UC-HE for that tenancy for that AP.

    So look at it in this way:
    1. The reported tenancy C of C is applied from the start of your current UC monthly AP.
    2. Your old Housing Element for the old tenancy ends at the start of that AP. (and no more UC-HE is paid for the old tenancy).
    3. Your new Housing Element for the new tenancy begins at the start of that AP. (and UC-HE is paid for the new tenancy).
    4. So any gaps or overlaps in the two tenancies are irrelevant.

    That makes it simpler to work out your UC-HE entitlement/payment - no calculating of dates, overlaps, or gaps is needed because, on paperwork at least, it all happens at the same time on the same day.

    So in the case of a tenancy gap like yours it doesn't matter, and you will be paid at the rate for the new rental from the start of that AP anyway.

    If your new rent is still above your LHA rate then your UC-HE will still just pay the LHA amount and you'll have to make up the difference (presumably you are doing that at the moment).
    If the new rent is below your LHA rate (unlikely these days) then UC-HE will only pay the actual rent.
    Always bearing in mind that if you are moving to a different Local Authority then the LHA rates may (probably will) be different.

    It will be up to you to sort out how much you need to pay to each landlord this month.
    Last edited by nukecad; 03-01-22 at 18:06.
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  6. #6
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    That applies equally if you end a tenancy part-way through an AP, the change applies from the start of the AP and you will not get any UC-HE for that tenancy for that AP.

    The above seems absolutely ridiculous, so basically if you leave a tenancy 1 day before your AP ends they are not liable to pay ANY HE for that ? That is utterly ridiculous and could mean people get in serious debt , if like me I’m moving from a place that it at the top end of my LHA to a place that is a third cheaper. This would leave me almost £1000 in debt for no fault of my own other than moving to a cheaper place . Utterly ridiculous and for this reason alone I wouldn’t blame people for not disclosing it initially. As for me I’ll have to somehow extend my tenancy for a few days so I don’t get into this serious debt . What an absolute farce .

  7. #7
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau View Post
    so basically if you leave a tenancy 1 day before your AP ends they are not liable to pay ANY HE for that ?
    That's correct .

    But if you are moving to another tenancy then you get HE for that tenancy for the whole AP, even though you weren't there.

    And it is much more likely that someone is going from no tenancy to a tenancy rather than the other way round, so usually the claimant wins.

    Back to your situation:

    When are your moving dates, and what is your UC AP date?
    (Always remembering that the AP end is 7 days before your usual UC payday).
    Was your tenancy Fixed Term ending on the date that you were moving out?

    If your move is that close to your AP end then could you delay moving out until just after your AP end?
    It's the physical moving that is the change of circumstances and not when the new tenancy agreement starts.
    (Although you said you were moving out before the new TA started anyway?).

    However whether you can delay moving out like that depends on agreeing it with your old landlord.
    Assuming this was a fixed term AST that is ending, or one that has gone 'statuatory periodic' after the fixed term ended, then if you overstay your tenancy period by even 1 day the landlord is entitled to claim rent for the whole of the next month.
    (Of course that means he shouldn't relet it to anyone during that month even though you have left, so you may be able to come to an agreement for just a week or so if he wants to relet quickly. There again he may have already relet and the new tenant is waiting to move in).
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  8. #8
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    Thanks nukecad

    ‘ It's the physical moving that is the change of circumstances and not when the new tenancy agreement starts.’

    The above sentence confuses me.
    I think I’ll have to try and see if I can extend my current tenancy by a few days or a week.

  9. #9
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau View Post
    ‘ It's the physical moving that is the change of circumstances and not when the new tenancy agreement starts.’

    The above sentence confuses me.
    As an example I moved flat last June.

    I had an overlap and the new TA started 2 weeks before I moved from my old flat to my new flat, my Housing Benefit changed on the day that I moved (Not on the TA start date).

    Yes I had 2 overlapping TAs for a couple of weeks but that didn't matter - you could have as many TAs as you like but benefits only pay for the one where you are actually living.
    With UC that is where you are actually living at the end of your AP, and is paid from the start of that AP.

    In a case with a gap in TA's rather than an overlap:
    There will be a C of C when you move out of the old place to a temporary place, there will be a second C of C when you move out of the temporary place and into the new place.

    So unless the move from old to new happens on the same day then there will be 2 C of C's.
    But with UC then as long as both happen in the same UC AP they both get backdated to the start of that AP and it will be the second one that counts for what UC HE gets paid. ie. Where you are living at the end of your AP.


    Have you already told UC anything about your move?
    I don't like telling the DWP about changes in advance, plans can change so I only tell them once the change has happened.

    If you would lose out by your moving out just before your AP end then as you say you should see if you can delay the move till just after your AP starts (which would also mean you don't need to sofa-surf at a friends so there would only be one CofC) and then tell UC of your actual moving date once you have moved.

    In a case like yours, with a move to lower rent, then moving just after your UC AP start should maximise your UC HE, but remember that both landlords will still want paying what is due to them.
    Last edited by nukecad; 05-01-22 at 18:19.
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  10. #10
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    Thanks for explaining nukecad it makes sense now .

    I did think it was from the start of the TA date though as that’s when you’re liable to pay rent from ?

    I haven’t told them yet , I was going to wait until I’d moved and do it then .
    I’ll def have to try and extend the move a few days so I don’t lose out .

    I’ll keep you updated about how it all goes .

    Thanks again .
    Last edited by Pau; 05-01-22 at 19:24.

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