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Housing element denied because of no gas safety certificate

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hbean5747
hbean5747 Community member Posts: 19 Connected
edited September 2022 in Universal Credit (UC)
Context: I am in a long-term sublet, approved by my flatmate's landlord/estate agent. My flatmate rents the 2 bed as a whole, and I pay her the rent for my room. I have a copy of her tenancy agreement for my own records, and we have a signed agreement between the two of us.

I paid her a deposit and my first month fine because of how assessment periods lined up. But my housing element has been denied because of all the evidence and documentation I was asked for, I haven't been able to provide gas and electricity safety certificates.

I know they are a legal requirement. But for the past nine days, our usually responsive property manager has not replied to any of my emails and has been unreachable by phone. I emphasised the urgency of the matter but no dice. They've always been so professional and thorough, so it is hard to believe they may not have these legally required certificates. I asked someone else in the building (they manage the whole building) and they don't recall seeing these certificates either.

I'm guessing it's because my agreement is unusual, but I have never been asked for these certificates in order for my housing benefit to be approved in the first place. Everything else the UC guy asked me for, I provided. My claim has been denied on the basis of the lack of these certificates.

I either have to move out or ask my flatmate to withhold the shortfall from next month's rent because this negatively affects her and it's literally because of them that she is £350 short (UC is continuing to pay me the same amount as they were previously, and my new place costs 350 more), not to mention the fact that it is illegal to not conduct safety checks. But she's not the one whose income relies on gas safety certificates, she's the one with an agreement with them, so she has no basis to withhold rent and wouldn't be protected.

I'm sure someone will tell me that's the reality of sublets - my agreement isn't with the landlord - but since when is a lack of gas safety certificates a reason for denying a housing claim?

Don't really know what I'm asking for here. I guess I'm just frustrated and need to get it off my chest. The London rental market is already bleak and having to deal with all of this is downright depressing.

Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,110 Disability Gamechanger
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    UC don’t usually ask for those certificates so I don’t understand why they are asking for them. 
    What they usually ask for is proof of your liability to pay rent, such as tenancy agree or lodgers agreement. If your friend is the tenant and you are their lodger then it would be a lodgers agreement they would need.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • hbean5747
    hbean5747 Community member Posts: 19 Connected
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    UC don’t usually ask for those certificates so I don’t understand why they are asking for them. 
    What they usually ask for is proof of your liability to pay rent, such as tenancy agree or lodgers agreement. If your friend is the tenant and you are their lodger then it would be a lodgers agreement they would need.
    Legally and officially I’m not a lodger, I’m a subtenant, and have provided a subtenancy agreement. They also asked for confirmation from her landlord of the terms of the subtenancy, and essentially that there is permission, which I provided. In all my years (and all my tenancies) of claiming housing benefit I have never had to provide gas and electricity safety certificates for my housing to be approved. So this is brand new to me.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,110 Disability Gamechanger
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    Housing element has simialar rules to HB, some rules such as non dependent deductions are different. I've never known anyone to have to send those certificates as proof of rent liablity because they don't provide any information about your proof of rent.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
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