Housing and UC? How to move?

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  • #33088 Report


    Hi. I am new here. I have a question to those of you who have moved homes while on UC. I am currently living in an HMO with my child, receiving UC (trying to get a job, but get no further than interviews, and even getting that far seems to be a miracle). Made an application to local council for housing 3 months ago, but have had no updates from them whether they have accepted the application or not. No information whatsoever. Rang them once, but they told me they’ll contact me themselves if there are any updates (I was already told, though, that although we live in overcrowded conditions, I will be very low on priority list as I have not lived in this borough for 10 years). I would be happy to rent privately, but where do you find a landlord who takes on people on UC, especially in London? My council does not have a list of such landlords. I am desperate to get a place of my own, as the overcrowding and issues amongst other housemates are having a negative effect on me and my child. Any advice would be very welcome.

    P.S. I have no guarantor that estate agencies would inevitably ask for, nor can I afford upfront rent for 6 months.

    #33095 Report


    I moved house last Nov while I was on UC but I had just gotten a little job working 10hrs per week so yes that helped but I am still on UC. They did a credit check on me which would have shown that I had a poor credit score, this is because I never had a credit card and I owned no man no money. I explained the reasons why I would come back with a poor credit score.

    I couldn’t afford the deposit and a months rent up front so I applied to my council for  Discretionary Housing Payment to cover those costs which I recieved thank goodness, that could be a good option for you too.

    Landlords don’t want 6 months rent up front usually, you might be getting mixed up with landlords wanting to start the contract with a 6 month tenancy agreement which is normal.

    Have you thought about house sharing with another person, one that is obviously not over crowded. I would think that in London there would be plenty of people looking for a flatmate?

    #33099 Report


    Hi Kath,

    Thank you for taking the time to reply. I have also never owned a credit card nor do I have any debts (unless you count student loan as a debt), so I am guessing that would potentially make my credit rating bad.

    I do not wish to share any more as we have been sharing for 3 years and my child is really struggling with that as then the other tenant(s) always have friends/boyfriends/girlfriends coming and going (from my experience), so there is no feeling of it being your home, and there is no privacy. More so, my child has lots of tantrums, I doubt anyone will be happy to live with that.

    My council does do discretionary payments, but I am wondering how does that work. How long does it take for the payment to come through? Does the agency agree to wait until it does? And what happens if I move to a different borough or town, is it still the council I am currently under that I would have to approach for the discretionary payment? Thank you.

    #33100 Report


    I actually cannot remember how long it took to get DHP but I know it was quick because it has to be quick, I think it was a matter of just a week or two. My private landlord offered me the house and it moved on from there. I am pretty certain I had as much in place as I could have done by the time the landlord offered me the house, such as having the form and filling out as much as I could so then it was just the finer details that needed adding and the council worker kept me up to date with how it was progressing. The landlord knew I was applying for DHP, they were happy to wait. So it’s not all bad news for people on UC.

    As for the diff borough or councils I really don’t know, I would give them a ring if I was you and ask, information is knowledge, knowledge is power. xx

    #33117 Report


    <span style=”font-size: 12.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: ‘Arial’,’sans-serif’; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: ‘Times New Roman’; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi; mso-ansi-language: EN-GB; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA;”>Hi – You can contact our free Gingerbread helpline on 0808 802 0925 if you want information about things like benefits and discretionary housing payments.  If you want more detailed information about finding housing and housing law you could ring Shelter England, a national  housing charity, on 0808 800 4444.</span>

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