Council refusing to pay LHA to T's Credit Union account

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  • Council refusing to pay LHA to T's Credit Union account

    I swapped my first tenant from HB to LHA today.
    Everything went well until the jobsworth said "You know we have to pay it direct to the tenant now, to the tenant's bank account?"
    "Yes, he'd like it to be paid to his Credit Union account."
    "Oh, no, we don't do that!"
    "Yes, you can - it's happening all over the country."
    "Oh, no, I'm sure we don't do it! It has to be a bank account. They're very easy to set up. We have a leaflet explaining it all for the tenant."
    "That may be so, but he wants it paid to a credit union account. The local credit union have told us they'd be happy to do so."

    Jobsworth makes a phone call to slightly higher-up jobsworth...

    "No, we definitely don't do Credit Unions. I've never heard of it either. I'll get you the leaflet on basic bank accounts."

    Jobsworth asks neighbouring jobsworth "Where are those leaflets?"
    "I thought they were over there", she says, waving at nowhere in particular.
    They weren't. First jobsworth disappears into the back office, and returns after about 10 minutes. "You're in luck, these are the last ones. One for the landlord, and one for the tenant."

    After we leave, I peruse the leaflet "Basic Bank Accounts." After listing such accounts, what do I find on page 7 ?

    "What are Credit Unions? Credit Unions are non-profit making organisations that come under the same rules as banks. They allow people who may have difficulty opening a bank account to access some of the same services as a basic bank account. For information on your local credit union visit www.abcul.coop"

    Come on guys, rather than forcing me to write to my MP, what's the best and quickest way of persuading these numpties to do the right thing?

    Seems the council is saying "You can be empowered with any kind of responsibility, provided it's the one we choose [or our computers can cope with]."

  • #2
    Speak to your Councillor or to the Local Government Ombudsman.
    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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    • #3
      I suppose the tenant could write to them giving his CU details. If the Council don't play ball within eight weeks, presumably they would have to pay me direct anyhow?

      Comment


      • #4
        Interesting this, thread, as this time yesterday, i was still trying to calm down after such a conversation with various jbs at a council.

        I had filled in the CU bank details in the HB application form for the T, so I figured, all OK. I call yesterday to find out status of application, only to be told they'd sent him a cheque on Wednesday last week. So I hit the roof, and demanded to know why. After being put on hold, cut off, put on hold, I finally get to speak to someone in charge who says they had never heard of the CU account!! Yet, its one of the accounts listed in their leaflet too. She then asks me to send her more info on it, and they'd look into it. So I emailed these over. I've not spoken to them today, as i don't want to upset my equilibrium so soon after the last conversation. Jobsworth or what!!
        And guess what, T is now not answering his phone to me!!

        I intend to give them a further 24 hours and then "sit in" their premises on Thursday until an answer is given. I've already won one battle with this particular Council about LHA payment to another T (will post as a separate thread-as i got compensation equivalent to the amount the T didn't pay me), and I'm set to take this the same way.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by RodCrosby View Post
          I suppose the tenant could write to them giving his CU details. If the Council don't play ball within eight weeks, presumably they would have to pay me direct anyhow?
          Yes they would pay it to you only if T is 8 weeks in arrears, but by then you are 8 weeks out of pocket, then what?

          Sorry to say, but these council officials make an already stupid regulation more painful than it ought to be. I wonder how they would feel if suddenly hundreds of pounds they were expecting at the end of the month vanished from their pay packets!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by RodCrosby View Post
            After we leave, I peruse the leaflet "Basic Bank Accounts." After listing such accounts, what do I find on page 7 ?

            "What are Credit Unions? Credit Unions are non-profit making organisations that come under the same rules as banks. They allow people who may have difficulty opening a bank account to access some of the same services as a basic bank account. For information on your local credit union visit www.abcul.coop"

            Come on guys, rather than forcing me to write to my MP, what's the best and quickest way of persuading these numpties to do the right thing?
            you could give them the details of the type of account it is, and proof that he has an account opened in his name/roll number etc., as well as a copy of their leaflet highlighting the relevant CU bit. If HB still not happy, make a formal/official complaint-there's usually a dept that deals with those. You will get some attention then within 10 days, if not happy with the response, press further and complaint will be escalated.

            Further to my response in post #4, I have this morning spoken the the council in question, and they have confirmed that they are now happy to pay the HB into the CU account. Their excuse is that they are a small authority and hadnt heard of that particular account before. Meanwhile, the T has paid the cheque into his normal account, and has already had some of it eaten up by bank charges Aaarrrghhhhh !!!!! But, I've told him that's his problem, and I want the full amount he was paid. We'll see how that goes.

            HTH

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