Housing benefit — Scope | Disability forum
Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.

Housing benefit

Hi,
I wonder if anyone could help please?  My 27 year old son has learning difficulties and is ASD.  He is capable of many things but unfortunately due to his lack of social skills has been unable to hold down any type of work longterm.  He is now in receipt of ESA and PIP.  We would like to buy a house with a view to him living in it and eventually inheriting it when we are no longer around.  We will have to take out a short term mortgage.  Would he be eligible for rent allowance if I apply for Universal Credit for him?.  The reason I ask is, the house would still be in our name and we would be putting our life savings into it, but would need at least some back to meet the mortgage costs as this would be only over 10 years as we are both retired.  Hope this makes sense. We just desperately want to know he has the security of a roof over his head when we're gone.  Hope this makes sense.  Thank you!

Comments

  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @judy26 how are you today? welcome to scope. I'm afraid it might come under what they would describe as a "contrived tenancy", basically designed to stop a situation like yours, put simply the property would have to be avaliable for anybody to rent not just your son, in other words a commercial venture.
    The problem you have is that you could buy a property take out a mortgage and find he is refused housing allowance. Bear in mind that some buy to let mortgage lenders forbid renting to family members, and a lot of non buy to let mortgages prohibit renting to housing benefit tenants, sorry I know that not what you want to hear but the link below explains it quite well.

    https://www.ashburnham-insurance.co.uk/blog/2018/06/what-is-a-contrived-tenancy/

    Be extra nice to new members.
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,572

    Scope community team

    edited June 2020
    Hi @judy26. Unfortunately as @woodbine mentioned, they could consider this a contrived tenancy. There are some occasions you can rent from a family member and receive help with housing costs but as you are buying the property specifically to let to him, it's likely to be considered contrived. Shelter would be a good place to get advice on this.
    As an alternative, could you perhaps look at renting it outside of the family until the mortgage is paid? 
    Community Manager
    Scope

    Tell us how to make the community better for you. Complete our feedback form.
  • judy26
    judy26 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Thank you both for your advice.  Don't really want to get into being a landlord as such. Just wanted to secure a home for Ed when we're no longer here. It's difficult when it's unknown how much assistance will be available in 10+ years time.  He is vulnerable and my nightmare is him ending up on the streets when we're no longer here to support and advise him.  He certainly can't handle money situations, and has been a victim of gross manipulation by outside bodies in the past.  Isolating him from his family etc.  that is why we would rather have something sorted for him where he can't be turned out or it taken from him.  I did ring citizens advice and they have said it can be done in certain circumstances, providing it's on a on a commercial basis with contracts and full market value rent...but that it would be scrutinised closely.... it's a risk though.  A few years ago we could have bought a small house outright, unfortunately, prices have rocketed!  

  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 15,293 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @judy26 Welcome to the community, it is great you are trying to sort something out for your son and this must be a hard situation to be in which unfortunately doesn't seem to have a practical solution for you.

    I hope you get lots advice but it would be good to keep updated if you find anything you can do to help other members in the same situation
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi again @judy26 at 27 your son would only get local housing allowance applicable to a one bedroom in a shared house, your local council website should have that info, so in all probability it wouldn't be enough to cover your mortgage, really sorry non of this is what you want to hear.
    Be extra nice to new members.
  • judy26
    judy26 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Thank you, I'll take a look at their website.  We wouldn't need to cover the whole mortgage, just part to help make the payment along with some of Ed's PIP.  Looking very complicated!  Seems sad in this type of situation where he could otherwise be on some form of housing benefit for life otherwise... oh well, I do see how it could be classed as contrived, and benefit used fraudulently.... Doesn't help us secure his future though!  Thanks for all your help guys, much appreciated! 
  • judy26
    judy26 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    janer1967 said:
    Hi @judy26 Welcome to the community, it is great you are trying to sort something out for your son and this must be a hard situation to be in which unfortunately doesn't seem to have a practical solution for you.

    I hope you get lots advice but it would be good to keep updated if you find anything you can do to help other members in the same situation
    Certainly will keep you informed if I have any success or find out anything relevant.  Thank you! 

Brightness

Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.