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housing

rich_hobbs_1rich_hobbs_1 Member Posts: 24 Listener
hi i live in a flat which my mum owns and is looking to put the flat into my name i have bipolar so i find it hard to work is there any way i can claim for the service charges that are included in the flat i forgot to mention that the flat is council property in which my mum owns the leasehold 

Replies

  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,373 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @rich_hobbs_1

    You should be able to get help with service charges that are not specific to the flat.  A good example of what would not be covered is water rates, though many councils are now passing this back to the water companies.

    While this is a great opportunity for you there are some things you should be aware of. As well as the regular service charges you would be responsible for any major works, these will include external decorations and associated works. It will also include any works for which the individual leaseholders liability will come to more than £250. 

    You mentioned it is a flat, so assumedly in a block. Even in a small block this can result in bills costing leaseholders several thousand pounds. In larger blocks this can easily go into 10s of thousands. A couple of quick questions to consider is has the block been brought up to decent homes standard and does it have cladding?

    As the leaseholder you are responsible for the repairs inside your home, including items like boilers which can be expensive to replace.

    Also how long is left on the lease.

    I am not trying to put you or your mum off, but what is intended to be a wonderful gift could quickly become a nightmare, or worse result in you becoming homeless if these things are not taken into consideration, especially if you are not in regular employment. If your mum is going to be able to help for you, and make some provision if something happens to her this may not be such a major concern.


    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • rich_hobbs_1rich_hobbs_1 Member Posts: 24 Listener
    Oh ok thank you geoark for your honesty I was hoping that I may be able to get some help as I’m on long term disability benefits 
  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,373 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @rich_hobbs_1 there are a lot of protections for leaseholders and without doubt for day to day living it is much cheaper especially if you do  not have a mortgage.

    Your council should hopefully have a home ownership team or service charge team who manage this sort of thing and you should check with them how  quickly you would have to pay. Or how much the last external decs costed, or your mum might know this. By far the most regular one is the external decs which are normally done every 5 to 7 years, though it is not unknown for councils to leave this for a lot longer.

    There are people on long term disability benefits who own their homes and do manage, so it is definitely worth investigating. One of the hardest things for me in my work are people who have bought the leasehold without looking at these type of issues and suffer because of it. 

    As I said I don't want to put you off, but I do want you to know and understand what it means.

    @Debbie_Scope any other advice?

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering

    Hi @rich_hobbs_1

    If you are on income based benefit (such as income related ESA or income support) you may be able to claim the service charge from the DWP, and possibly also the ground rent.

    This will depend on what the service charge is for etc. but they are normally fairly standard, and details should be contained within the Leasehold Agreement or some such document annexed to it.

    You would have to make a written request to the DWP providing full evidence of the charge you are liable for.

    Hope this is of assistance.

    Kind regards,

    Mary

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • ash99ash99 Member Posts: 1 Listener
    I WENT TO THE COUNCIL ON MONDAY TO FILL ANEW HOUSEING BENFIT FROM OUT AND I GIVE HIM MY TENANCY AND A LETTER FROM MY CARER HE SED HE MADES A LETTER FROM MY DR TO SAY  THAT I AM DISABELED AND MY ILLNESS I SED IT WOULD COST ME £56 FOR A LETTER FROM MY DR WHAT CAN I DO I CANT AFORD THE BEDROONM TAX  ASHLEY ANDERSON 
  • rich_hobbs_1rich_hobbs_1 Member Posts: 24 Listener
    Hi Ashley I’m no expert but I can only suggest what I have been told previously this may have changed as it was a while ago  that you don’t have to pay bedroom tax if it’s your own home this I’m not  certain on I’m not a benefits adviser but there are people on scope that are you may want to start a new discussion on the forum asking this it shouldn’t cost you anything to get a letter from your gp it only costs 12 pound to get a copy of your notes which may benefit you better 
  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,373 Disability Gamechanger
    @rich_hobbs_1 Bedroom tax only applies to those renting, so leaseholders and freeholders would not be affected.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • rich_hobbs_1rich_hobbs_1 Member Posts: 24 Listener
    Oh ok thanks for the update 
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    edited February 2018
    Hi ash99,

    If you rent your property and you are claiming Housing Benefit, you can apply for a DHP to cover any shortfall in the rent due to a bedroom tax deduction. You should contact your Local Authority's Housing Benefit department to ask how to apply for this as it will differ in each area.

    Lee
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
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