LHA tenant calendar month v 4 weekly payments

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    #16
    At a Slough LL forum Tuesday. (Probably about 40/50 attendees, including the avaricious "networkers" after someone-elses's money...) SBC gave a statistic - currently they pay 20%-ish of LHA direct to LL. Higher than I expected...

    I hesitate to defend local authorities but being told "your budgets will be cut 7% pa for 4 years" at the same time as being told "Oh, we are radically changing the rules, laws, regulations, approach to housing benefits" can't be comfortable for the good & decent hardworking council officers,... (there are others...). And hearing LLs speak as though HB/LHA was there for LL benefit .....


    Cheers!


    Artful
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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      #17
      Thanks Artful. A little moment of win for us decent hard working Local Council Benefit officers out there. (honestly, it makes a difference!)This is not a good time to be in HB, we have no idea how things are going to pan out, and the quoted timescales are ambitious to say the least. Take into account the probable change of goverments during said timescale and add in the amazing amount of FOI requests regarding HB payments we've had over the last 2 weeks, and its amazing we manage to maintain regular service. But we do.

      This time next year, we'll look back and laugh. Manic mwuahahaha laughter with tears probably, but there you go.
      The above is my opinion only and does not represent a response from my employers.

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        #18
        Originally posted by aprilnjune View Post
        I was informed today by an employee of a housing association that they and all other HA's always get their LHA money direct! Is this true?

        If it is true, its not fair.

        Mustn't grumble.
        Certainly is true.

        You have to cast your mind back and think New Labour.

        LHA was heralded as a watershed change to Housing Benefit, where all tenants would receive their rent money direct - whether private or social. It was all to do with the concept of Empowerment, where the government took the view that if tenants received their rent direct, it would assist them to be aware of costs and would help them when finding a job. This is because it would ease the 'transition' from benefits, as they would be used to paying the rent themselves anyway.

        A pilot scheme was trialled (where the areas piloted had extra help in administration etc) and it found that, despite fears raised by landlords and housing charities, that the rise in rent arrears due to direct payment although higher than before was 'not significant'. The scheme was then brought in nationally in April 2008 for privately rented accommodation, with social landlords expected to move to LHA the following year.

        Within months of the scheme coming in, local councils were finding that there was an increase in rent arrears. In response social landlords then embarked on a coordinated lobbying campaign to stop the impending change to direct payments.

        Now, in late Autumn 2008 I recall reading a parliament report where the housing minister announced that social landlords would not be subject to the requirements of direct payments. The reason given for this was that as social landlords were 'not-for-profit organisations', any increase in rent arrears would have significantly greater impact on them and would directly affect their sustainability.

        Since then I have often spent time (and it adds up to quite a few hours now) trying to find the above, searching through parliament records online - but have failed so far.

        The reason I wanted to find this is to pursue it through my MP because by making the above statement, it blew a big hole in the whole New Labour policy of empowering tenants. My biggest question was going to ask why private tenants can be empowered, but tenants of social landlords are not thought capable of this? Are the tenant of social landlords regarded as second class and unable to manage their affairs?

        It certainly means that, as is often the case, private landlords get the messy end of the stick. And yes, it's not fair.
        On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Because of the number of posts I have done, I am now a Senior Member. However, read anything I write with the above in mind.

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          #19
          You are unlikely to encounter a situation in which LHA is paid in respect of a Housing Association property. LHA was created specifically for people living in accommodation owned by private landlords. Traditional 'HB' continues to be paid to housing association tenants and those who claimed prior to the LHA inception date (7/4/2008 I think it was).

          With LHA came a whole raft of legislation specific to tenants residing in 'private' dwellings. The most unfortunate consequence of which (from a disgruntled landlord's point of view) is the decision to pay tenants as far as possible.
          Michael Clayton

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            #20
            Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
            At a Slough LL forum Tuesday. (Probably about 40/50 attendees, including the avaricious "networkers" after someone-elses's money...) SBC gave a statistic - currently they pay 20%-ish of LHA direct to LL. Higher than I expected...
            In Liverpool it is more like 35% - I did a rough calculation during a council meeting when I heard the figures, estimating the lost rent (based on 8 weeks arrears on an average 3 bed LHA rate) of around £14m. I asked the council rep "who will be repaying this (very likely conservative guess) £14m back to landlords"

            No answer was forthcoming...
            Liability statement. My liability to you is not to exceed the amount you are paying for my recommendations or advice.

            I see a bright new future, where chickens can cross the road with no fear of having their motives questioned

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              #21
              Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
              In Liverpool it is more like 35% - I did a rough calculation during a council meeting when I heard the figures, estimating the lost rent (based on 8 weeks arrears on an average 3 bed LHA rate) of around £14m. I asked the council rep "who will be repaying this (very likely conservative guess) £14m back to landlords"

              No answer was forthcoming...
              Would that information be likely to be given if a Freedom of Information Act request was submitted?
              Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

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