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Why do I have to become homeless and penniless

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Markey
Markey Community member Posts: 16 Connected
My rent is £430 pm more than the local HB rate (I live in London where rents are really high, I moved in 10 years ago, it's only recently that I had to give up work) I applied for DHP but they turned me down, I have some savings which I'm using to make up the difference, I spoke to my local council but they said they can't help because I have savings and I'm not in arrears. They told me to find somewhere cheaper myself. But there is nothing within local HB rates anywhere near me. 80 miles away I found an area where the local HB allowance matches some properties but no one will rent to me because I'm on benefits, and I don't have anyone who could be a grantor. I recently offered 12 months rent up front and £100 more a month than the asking rent (It was advertised at £100pm less than the local HB rate) but they wouldn't even let me view it. The excuse was that I had to be working so the landlord could take out insurance incase I didn't pay my rent, she said even offering 12 months up front wont help because what if I don't pay in 12 months time, whereas the landlord is covered if he has the insurance. I guess this means I have to wait till all my savings are gone so I can no longer pay my rent in full and get evicted... I don't understand why I have to wait to become homeless and penniless before anyone will help me, the thought of becoming homeless is making my mental health much worse than it already is

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  • Hannah_Alumni
    Hannah_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,911 Disability Gamechanger
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    I'm so sorry you are going through this @Markey.

    I find it appalling that you are looking 80 miles away :( I was looking on the common's library website and found this: Can private landlords refuse to let to Housing Benefit claimants? - House of Commons Library (parliament.uk). It seems that it is discriminatory to not allow Housing Benefit and there is a reform bill expected soon. I know that doesn't help you now, and the process of going against a landlord for discrimination is long. But I guess I wanted you to know that you can vent here. 
    We can see it and we want to be as much support for you as possible <3
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • Markey
    Markey Community member Posts: 16 Connected
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    Hi @Hannah_Scope, thank you for the reply, I've actually searched hundreds of properties from Scotland to Cornwall and compared every area with the local HB rates and finding anything affordable anywhere is almost impossible. But as I said I found an area 80 miles away where the local benefit rate will enable me to rent something with a little garden that I can sit in. In reality I don't care where I live but I just want somewhere I can call home. The problem is that no law can force a landlord not to take out insurance and apparently it's the insurance policy that doesn't allow benefit claimants. The problem is Landlords really can pick and choose, many properties end up fully booked for viewings within a day of being advertised
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,161 Disability Gamechanger
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    A DHP is discretionary so if you have savings then yes they can refuse, which they have. It's never easy finding any landlord that will accept someone claiming benefits and as the years progress it just gets more difficult.
    You can put your name down on social housing list but if you're a single person then the wait is endless but if it's not on the list then you'll have no chance.
    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.
  • Hannah_Alumni
    Hannah_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,911 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hello @Markey It is just a shame, especially all that added rigmarole. 

    Will keep my fingers crossed you find something with a little garden :)

    Do you enjoy being outdoors or do you like gardening as a hobby?  
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • Markey
    Markey Community member Posts: 16 Connected
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    @Hannah_Scope My COPD means my mobility isn't good so it's really difficult going anywhere, so rather than just sit in a flat all day feeling like a prisoner and just waiting to die I just want to be able to live somewhere where I can have my door open and sit outside when the weather is nice. I don't think it's too much to ask.
  • Hannah_Alumni
    Hannah_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,911 Disability Gamechanger
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    @Markey It's not at all. And you aren't just sitting around, you have us to talk to :)
    I don't know if you've been in the Coffee Lounge yet, but we talk about our interests, hobbies, play games and have general discussions. You'll have to pour yourself a cuppa and join us :) 
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • Markey
    Markey Community member Posts: 16 Connected
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    I just thought I'd share some good news, after months of searching I've finally found somewhere to live as I said before there are a few villages within 15 miles of Cambridge where the HB matches the rents, and by going through a small agent I found one that would accept the fact I'm on benefits. So next month I move into a nice detached 2 bed bungalow with a garage and importantly for me a nice private garden I can sit out in, and although it's 2 bedrooms it's only £5 a week more than my Housing allowance for 1 bedroom :-) 
  • Sandy_123
    Sandy_123 Scope Member Posts: 55,793 Disability Gamechanger
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    @Markey well done and exciting times ahead. Good luck in your new home and I hope we have a decent summer for you to sit out
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,499 Disability Gamechanger
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    That's lovely news @markey :) I hope that you settle into your new home well! Do you have any plans to decorate?

    National Campaigns Officer at Scope, she/her

  • Markey
    Markey Community member Posts: 16 Connected
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    Sandy_123 said:
    @Markey well done and exciting times ahead. Good luck in your new home and I hope we have a decent summer for you to sit out
    I'm so grateful I've got somewhere with a garden I'll sit out in the rain with an umbrella if I have to
  • Biblioklept
    Biblioklept Community member Posts: 4,995 Disability Gamechanger
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    Good luck with the move @Markey!!! It's rare to find somewhere that the local housing allowance matches rents at all as different areas have different rates so you've done well to find it!! <3 
  • Hannah_Alumni
    Hannah_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,911 Disability Gamechanger
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    That's amazing news @Markey :) I'm so happy for you. 

    A private garden! Let's hope we get some lovely weather soon so you can enjoy that! 
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.
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