“I spent my £ 300 per month of universal credit money on alcohol and lost my children


Nodding her head with conviction, Jayde, a mother of two, insists to the landlord sitting across from her that she is a reliable tenant and that she can pay her rent despite being on universal credit.

The 24-year-old from Hartlepool says she is desperate to receive a new two-bed rental so she can reclaim custody of her children – but minutes later she is left in tears when she admits the real reason she can’t get a house is because she spent her entire £ 300 rent on alcohol.

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Mom of two blew her rent up with alcohol and lost her childrenCredit: Richard Ansett

In the last episode of Channel 4 Skint Britain: friends without social benefits, Jayde – who claims to have trouble with universal credit – tries to convince landlord Kevin to rent him a property – and lies about his financial history.

Already owed £ 22,000 by others on the same new allowance system – which sees applicants paying their housing allowance directly rather than going directly to the landlord – Kevin is understandably cautious about hiring him.

“Do you have problems, rent arrears?” He asks her.

As Jayde shakes her head, her mother Mandy – with whom she has lived for over six weeks – glances sheepishly at the camera.

    Jade, 24, is desperately looking for a home to regain custody of her children

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Jade, 24, is desperately looking for a home to regain custody of her children
    Hartlepool-based landlord Kevin owes tenants £ 22,000 on Universal Credit

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Hartlepool-based landlord Kevin owes tenants £ 22,000 on Universal CreditCredit: Richard Ansett

“We weren’t paid a single penny”

Turns out Kevin’s concerns are valid. He walks over to his car to call one of Jayde’s former owners to check on her.

To his shock, he was told, “We did not receive a single penny.

“She had the money that was given to her but she spent it. Nothing since the day she moved in. I saved you a lot of heartache buddy.”

Billy, a Hartlepool rental agent, struggles to collect rent from tenants on Universal Credit on Skint Britain
    Owner isn't happy when he finds out Jayde has already spent all of his rental money on drinks

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Owner isn’t happy when he finds out Jayde has already spent all of his rental money on drinks
    Jayde is left in tears when she turned down a property

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Jayde is left in tears when she turned down a property

“I spent all my money on alcohol”

The camera then shifts to Jayde sobbing into a pillow on a sofa after being told the landlord won’t rent the property to her.

Without a home, she has no chance of getting her children back, who now live with their father.

“It’s just a losing battle. I wish I had paid rent,” she said.

“I should have been responsible for paying my rent. But I didn’t have my kids with me so I was like we were getting drunk. Like forgetting everything. I spent all my rent money on drinks. .

“I went through a pretty bad stage to be fair, and I didn’t think I had depression, but I clearly did.”

    She currently lives with her mother and shares her bed

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She currently lives with her mother and shares her bed
    Jayde struggles to find a two-bed property for £ 55 a week

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Jayde struggles to find a two-bed property for £ 55 a weekCredit: Richard Ansett
    The young mother is told that she is in a situation of

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The young mother is told that she is in a “catch-22” situation trying to be able to afford a property to house her daughters.

“I can’t get the damn’s rent so I don’t have my children”

Jayde explains that she now receives a Universal Credit Allowance for a single person each month – but that’s not enough to rent a house big enough for herself and her children.

She claims that if she had her children with her, she could claim more and pay the rent for adequate housing.

“They say get a house back, you can get your kids back,” she complains.

“I can have a house but I can’t get the fucking rent because I don’t have my kids. So how am I supposed to have a house?”

Sophie from Skint Britain finds herself homeless after moving to Universal Credit
    We see her rummaging through her children's toys

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We see her rummaging through her children’s toys

“I am 24 years old and I have to share a bed with my mother”

But despite the feeling of helplessness, Jayde insists that she is determined to change her life.

She said, “If I didn’t sleep with my mother, I wouldn’t have anywhere to go.

“I share a bed with my mom. I’m 24 and have to cuddle my mom one night. It’s bad, it’s terrible.”

She adds, “I’ve been in a huge ditch for months and I’m almost done.

“The only way out of this ditch is to have a righteous house, and then I’ll be back on the right path.

Skint Britain trailer shows Hartlepool struggling to get hold of universal credit

“I hate being on benefit. Next year I don’t want to be on benefit any more. I worked in a nursing home. I worked in a hotel doing housekeeping and entertaining. worked in a fishmonger.I just did all kinds really.

“I want a house so that I can make it my own and my children’s home again.”

Her mother also believes the system is unfairly rigged against her daughter.

“She’s doing her best to get a house around here,” she said.

“They keep pushing her away. They keep kicking her in the teeth every time she tries.”

However, at the end of the episode, we see Jayde being given a property.

Another landlord has agreed to leave her a property large enough for £ 55 a week so that she can get custody of her daughters – and once she gets them back she will start paying a higher rent with an amount greater universal credit.

“I feel like a weight has been taken off my shoulders. I can start to look forward to having children,” she explains.

“I started taking a distance learning course on adult welfare. Obviously, if I find a job, I won’t need universal credit. I will be able to pay my bills on time.”

Time will tell if Jayde is able to pay her rent and not drink alcohol …

Skint Britain: Friends without Benefits, tonight at 9 p.m., Channel 4


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