Attachments of Benefits

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  • Attachments of Benefits

    Can a Landlord obtain an Attachment of Benefits?

    If so how do we go about it?

    From information gathered it appears that only the Council can obtain an Attachment of Benefits for Council Tax arrears etc. Is this correct?

    Any help or assistance would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    the criminal court can but I think it is quite rare in civil cases though I have no basis for this "thought"!
    Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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    • #3
      I know little about this but:
      a. L might be able to obtain an order, similar to Attachment of Earnings, via a Civil Court; whereas
      b. a Local Authority might have either that power or also obtain an order in Criminal Court proceedings- but not paying Council Tax is a civil (not criminal) offence, so how does the Criminal Court become involved?
      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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      • #4
        I know that attachment of benefit orders are given for non payment of TV licences etc - there is a "private court" which is part of the criminal system which deals with this sort of thing plus benefit frauds, environmental issues etc
        Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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        • #5
          But not paying for a TV licence (if one is lawfully required) is a criminal offence, I think. Is not paying Council Tax?
          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).

          Comment


          • #6
            Yes you can apply for an Attachment of Benefits order for rent arrears.


            Housing costs excluding mortgage interest (for customer’s current address)

            Rent arrears and service charges (for customer’s current address) which includes arrears of :
            Miscellaneous accommodation costs
            Hostel service charges
            Gas, electricity and water

            Water and sewerage charges (for customer’s current provider)

            Fuel costs (for customer’s current provider)

            Council Tax (CT) arrears

            Unpaid fines or compensation orders

            Child Maintenance Enforcement Commission (certain elements)

            Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit recoveries on behalf of Debt Management Service

            All of these as it happens!

            http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/creditor-handbook.pdf

            Have a butchers at that link to get some info on how to apply as a Third Party Creditor, however they can only take small amounts out of benefits, particularly if the person has other deductions.

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            • #7
              As I understand it compensation gets paid first, then criminal fines then everything else! The most I have seen come out of benefits is £5/week for a criminal fine.
              Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Emma1973 View Post
                Yes you can apply for an Attachment of Benefits order for rent arrears.
                <snip>
                Have a butchers at that link to get some info on how to apply as a Third Party Creditor, however they can only take small amounts out of benefits, particularly if the person has other deductions.
                It would appear that the standard landlords claim - unpaid rent & damages for a house that T used to live in - isn't covered

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Emma1973 View Post
                  Have a butchers at that link to get some info on how to apply as a Third Party Creditor, however they can only take small amounts out of benefits, particularly if the person has other deductions.
                  Thanks for the link Emma1973. Interesting stuff.


                  Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                  It would appear that the standard landlords claim - unpaid rent & damages for a house that T used to live in - isn't covered
                  "The areas in which arrears can be managed by use of the scheme include:
                  ....
                  • Housing costs excluding mortgage interest (for customer’s current address)
                  • Rent arrears and service charges (for customer’s current address) which includes arrears of:
                    Miscellaneous accommodation costs
                    Hostel service charges
                    Gas, electricity and water"
                  It may be that 'The Third Party Payments scheme' 'includes' the above, but is not exclusively so.
                  • "Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit recoveries on behalf of Debt Management Service"

                  Also may be covered by this, for example, if tenant is in 8+ weeks rent arrears, and has absconded, as in this case AFAIK local authority, will not pay rent arrears to LL, but HB/LHA due.
                  The information in my posts is provided 'as is'. This is not intended to be legal advice. Legal or other professional advice should be sought before acting or relying on this information or any part of it. I will not be held responsible for loss or damage arising from errors in the information or the way in which a person uses the information on this . For more information on your query use the '' link at the top of this page. Agreements, Forms & Notices can be found .

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for the link Emma1973 we read through this to see if we can put in a claim.

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                    • #11
                      the system does not work

                      I have tried to do this without success, so far, but still working on it. I found out about it first in the LHA Guidance Manual which states:

                      4.60 Any landlord can ask the DWP for deductions from IS, JSA or Pension Credit guarantee credit to cover rent arrears. However, deductions can only be made for existing tenants, therefore no assistance can be rendered to previous landlords of a tenant where the tenant has vacated leaving rent arrears and has moved to another privately rented accommodation. This provision is for their current landlord only. Third party deductions from benefits are there to help vulnerable individuals deal with debt – deductions are only made where a failure to do so would place an individual at risk. They are only made to prevent evictions, imprisonment or to maintain essential supplies, e.g. heating and water.
                      Anyway, I called up the relevant DWP centre, explained the situation and what I wanted to do, only to be told the following:

                      1. I had to get a court order
                      2. the tenant had to give permission (DPA quoted again)
                      3. it was not applicable to private landlords, but only housing associations!!

                      I even read out the relevant bits in both the LHA Guidance manual and the DWPs own Third party creditor handbook to no avail. The lady said she'd look into it, took the tenants details and said she'll get back to me. So, I'm waiting to hear back.

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                      • #12
                        i was told by my local small claims court that i could not apply for a deduction from benefits for an ex tenant

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by susanne View Post
                          i was told by my local small claims court that i could not apply for a deduction from benefits for an ex tenant
                          See 4.60 in HavensRUs' quote above - you can not get deductions for EX tenants, only current ones.

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                          • #14
                            Attachment of rent arrears

                            Emma's link has been referred to quite a number of times. I won't go into the details as the link explains how the scheme works.

                            Councils, and to a lesser extent Housing Associations, make use of this DWP facility to recover rent arrears at circa £3.40 per week for each qualifying tenant. Councils also use it for council tax arrears. There's a hierarchy to payments and a limit to only three separate debts being recovered at any given time so you're not always guaranteed payment. However, nothing to stop private landlords accessing scheme if tenant meets criteria.

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                            • #15
                              I was eventually successful in the claim I mentioned above. The payments stopped as soon as the T moved out and his HB claim stopped.

                              I am now putting in a claim for a couple of others, but in a different LA. Infact, i've been surprised at the difference between the two. When I called up the second, I was not given the "it can't be done statement". They told me exactly what was needed, and it was no where near as difficult as the first ones made out.

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