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Thread: Can the Council ask that you pay your PIP towards Housing Costs?

  1. #1

    Can the Council ask that you pay your PIP towards Housing Costs?

    Hello all,

    I recently moved in to Private Rented accommodation found by my local Council under a six months tenancy agreement.

    My tenancy is due to be renewed in May and I've just been informed by the Council that my landlord wishes to up the rent by nearly £300 a month.

    I replied advising the Council that this is quite an unaffordable increase, however, they have come back to myself saying this is not unreasonable due to myself and my partner having disposable income.

    What she is referring to there is mine and my partners Pip. Can they ask you that you put your PIP towards your rent, despite it being meant for disability related costs?

    Kind regards,

    Lydia

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    That sounds like a funny arrangement.

    I'm aware that some councils rent properties from private landlords and then let them to tenants.
    But in those arrangements the council is your landlord not the property owner.
    The property owner is the councils landlord not yours.

    Either the council is your LL and they are trying to increase your rent.
    Or the property owner is your LL and I don't see why the council are talking to you about a rent increase.
    (Unless the council think they are acting as letting agents for the LL?, I've not heard of anyone using that arrangement).

    Whoever is your landlord they can't just increase the rent by whatever they like.
    Even if you sign a new TA (you don't have to BTW) they are limited to how much they can put the rent up without your agreement.

    (If you don't sign a new TA then your tenancy becomes a Standard Periodic Tenancy with the same terms as the TA was, this a is month to month tenancy and needs two months notice before they can start any eviction process).

    Unless you agree to what they ask then they have to serve you with an official document, a section 13 notice, and you can challenge it and get a ruling on what is a reasonable increase.

    I suggest that you ask about this on a forum called Landlordzone.
    It's not just for landlords and you will get advice there on what is the correct procedure a landlord has to follow.

    Alternatively take a look on the Shelter website under rent increases.
    Last edited by nukecad; 02-22-2019 at 03:25 AM.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Kodiak's Avatar
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    PIP is a Non Means Tested Disability Payment and Councils do not take into account when working out Rent Rebates. So then Councils should not be able to claim you should pay more rent as you receive PIP as this Benefit is not classed as Income.

    You do not receive PIP to pay for rent and I am quite sure the DWP would not be pleased if they found out that this was happening.
    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.
    Edgar Allen Poe

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Here's the shelter page about rent inceases:
    https://england.shelter.org.uk/housi...rent_increases

    I'm still puzzled as to what kind of tenancy arrangement this is.

    Could you tell us who is named as the landlord on your tenancy agreement?
    It's a legal requirement for a contact address to be on there.
    No need for names, just is it the council or is it the property owner?

    Who pays the rent and who to?
    Do you pay it or does the council/DWP pay it direct.

    I'm thinking that this may not be a rent increase as such.
    I'm wondering if what is actually happening here is that the council have been paying a Discretionary Housing Payment to 'top up' what you have been paying as rent and now want to stop paying the DHP?
    Last edited by nukecad; 02-22-2019 at 04:58 AM.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

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  5. #5
    The tenancy agreement was drawn up by the Council, but the named landlord is the property owner.

    I believe you might be right in regards to the DHP as the Landlord sent a confusing email to us stating the rent is £950, and was saying something about a top-up.

    However, we weren't made aware of this arrangement at any point, and when I had initial contact with the lady from the Council about the property, she advised that the rent is in line with the LHA, which is correct for the £718 figure, but certainly not correct for the £950 figure the landlord quoted.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by nukecad View Post
    Here's the shelter page about rent inceases:
    https://england.shelter.org.uk/housi...rent_increases

    I'm still puzzled as to what kind of tenancy arrangement this is.

    Could you tell us who is named as the landlord on your tenancy agreement?
    It's a legal requirement for a contact address to be on there.
    No need for names, just is it the council or is it the property owner?

    Who pays the rent and who to?
    Do you pay it or does the council/DWP pay it direct.

    I'm thinking that this may not be a rent increase as such.
    I'm wondering if what is actually happening here is that the council have been paying a Discretionary Housing Payment to 'top up' what you have been paying as rent and now want to stop paying the DHP?
    Yes it does sound as if they have been paying a discretionary payment which they have reviewed

  7. #7
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    It does sound like an unusual arrangement that included a DHP.
    Why would the LL let the council draw up the TA?

    Without seeing the paperwork it's hard to know just what it is.

    But I suspect that like Kodiac says your PIP should not be taken into account.
    The problem there is that a DHP is like it says - Discretionary.
    So it's not covered by any laws on what should or should not be taken into account.

    I think you need to find out if a DHP was in place, and if it was then argue that it should continue.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by lydz90 View Post
    Hello all,

    I recently moved in to Private Rented accommodation found by my local Council under a six months tenancy agreement.

    My tenancy is due to be renewed in May and I've just been informed by the Council that my landlord wishes to up the rent by nearly £300 a month.

    I replied advising the Council that this is quite an unaffordable increase, however, they have come back to myself saying this is not unreasonable due to myself and my partner having disposable income.

    What she is referring to there is mine and my partners Pip. Can they ask you that you put your PIP towards your rent, despite it being meant for disability related costs?

    Kind regards,

    Lydia
    As you state housing "costs" and not "benefit" I guess your claiming UC ? .
    In most cases the council should interpret the rules the same if your getting UC or HB but some councils think people on UC are not there problem..

  9. #9
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    I believe it's UC because lydz has an earlier thread about moving to a different LA.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by nukecad View Post
    It does sound like an unusual arrangement that included a DHP.
    Why would the LL let the council draw up the TA?

    Without seeing the paperwork it's hard to know just what it is.

    But I suspect that like Kodiac says your PIP should not be taken into account.
    The problem there is that a DHP is like it says - Discretionary.
    So it's not covered by any laws on what should or should not be taken into account.

    I think you need to find out if a DHP was in place, and if it was then argue that it should continue.
    I recently applied for a "overlap" rent payment from the council due to having to pay rent at 2 addresses for a 4week period..
    They told me they only pay discretionary payments IF there's a gap in what your rent is and what the LHA rate for you is , and told me as I'm on UC that they couldn't help and I should apply for a loan at the JC.
    The guy in JC seem to think they are still responsible even if your claiming UC .

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