Started eviction process hb stopped payments.

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  • Started eviction process hb stopped payments.

    Hi

    I wrote to the husing benefit department asking for them to pay me direct as tenant failed to pass onto me for several months. The housing benefit have transfered over to me last month and recieved 1 payment. last week i started court proceedings and this week another paymnet was due from the council but they havent paid me. I asked the tenant and they advised that they called housing benefit to transfer back to them and they have. Are they allowed to do this if the tenant is still over 8 weeks in arrears?

  • #2
    No, the housing benefit department should have contacted you, or at least obtained proof from the tenant that they did not owe rent.

    Do I presume the tenant hs not forwarded the housing benefit to you?

    Comment


    • #3
      Thats correct. Since my initial request to the hb the tenants have paid a lump sum however based on my tenancy agreement they are still over 8 weeks in arrears.
      I charge the tenants £1100 in advance and total arrears to date are £2800 however i know council pays in arrears so could they see the total arrears as £1700 which would be less than 8 weeks now? even if this is the case now should they just change over seeing that they had already started paying me?

      Comment


      • #4
        It is important to be clear about the amounts that 'count' for housing benefit and section 8.

        With section 8 (assuming rent paid weekly, fortnightly or monthly) then there must be 8 weeks or 2 months unpaid. This is different from arrears.

        Do a rent statement (similar format to bank statement) showing what money has come in (and when) and what money should have come in (and when) according to the tenancy agreement. That would include all rent-days up to and including the last one, and all payments that have come in to date. The figure at the bottom is what the tenant owes.

        If the tenant does not hand over the benefit, and the council do not have a good reason for their decision, I suspect you may be able to recover that money from the council. We do have some real experts on this LHA forum, they'll probably comment further this evening.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the advice Snorkerz.

          Comment


          • #6
            Ayla,

            Firstly, the fact you had previously received payments direct creates an obligation, on the part of the council, to formally notify you of its decision to revert payments back to the tenant. Included within that notification should also be your right to seek a full statement (explain why they have done this) or lodge an appeal.

            Secondly, re-directing payments in this way involves what is known as a supersession (revision of the terms of an earlier award, including the payee)which requires the council Decision Maker to record and justify on what grounds he/she could justify this alteration. Based on what you've stated there doesn't appear to have been any justifiable reason for doing so. Furthermore, if the council has failed to carry out a proper supersession the previous award (making payment to you) would still stand, enabling you to ask for a further payment to extinguish the rental liability.

            I hope this helps.

            HBadvocacy
            www.hbadvice.co.uk

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            • #7
              Thanks for the great advise.

              My dream home has turned into a nightmare for me because of these cheats!!
              I brought the home and thought i'd rent out until i saved enough from my job to make lump payment and then eventually move in. Decided to rent out to people i knew, didnt take deposit or rent in advance and kept rent to well below market value, actually just enough to cover mortgage and yearly insurance. Used all my saving (after working for 10 years to repair the house) with piece of mind that id have it back as i gave it.
              Ive had to leave my work made redundant, unable to claim benefits are seen as having a house with is bringing enough rent for a single person to survive on (they only take away the interest of the mortgage) when working out benefits, which they don't seem to understand that i have to pay full mortgage as i am fixed in. Insurance wont pay out as no refernce done on the tenants. used up all my redundancy to cover period of non paymnet by tenant, who decided to go on holiday twice with the money he owed me.
              The system is really unfair my tenants are claiming income support and dla (albeit the guy claiming dla is actually using the garden of my property as a mechanic, however no way to officially prove this). The have the latest iphones (i have a £10 phone), they have sky,plasma tvs, a car and go on holiday at least once a year. They recieve nearly £2000 pounds each month in benefits when i have to survive on pocket money my family gives and rent a room in a house- yes a room (again paid by dad). Im the rich one here and they are the poor?
              Ive started the eviction and council making payment to me, one they move out i will have to sell the house as my 10 year hard work as paid for the luxuries lifestyle of these so called poor people. Ive literally lost all my savings and hard work, just because i trusted ((

              I know their might not be any point as the amount i get will be minimual but ive heard that i can ask income support to do an attachment of earning on benefits while they have still at the property (hopefully will be out in less than 2 months, every day they stay their is eating at me and i wish they just disappeared for good), how would i go about requesting this? (its not about the money any more its about proving that they cant get away scot free)

              Really upset about all this.

              Comment


              • #8
                http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...ts-of-Benefits
                http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/is-20.pdf (p51)

                You will see from the 2nd one that only 3 organisations can have an attachment of benefits - but rent is a high priority one so you should be okay.

                Periodically, I go off on a rant, but this will only be a short one.

                I understand you are upset right now, but you have entered into a business and (for whatever reasons) have done just about nothing to protect yourself. So far as the rest of the world is concerned, this is not your 'beautiful house', it is a business asset. Many businesses have problems and many busineses fail. Now not for 1 minute am I saying that this is not the tenants fault, of course it is, but your unpreparedness has contributed to your current dilema.

                Now is the time to put your business-head on, learn the correct way to get these people out (which you are doing) and then, if you choose, re-let to tenants who will pay the rent. However hopefully this time you will have a business plan as to how you will minimise your risk to protect yourself. This forum is a brilliant place to learn of potential pitfalls, and to develop plans to avoid them or mitigate their effects.

                I am sure the members of the forum will be more than happy to help you learn the ropes and I know some will think I am being too hard. However, me saying 'poor you' will not benefit you at all.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Even if you do get an attachment of benefit you will be lucky to get £5 a month
                  Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thankyou everyone for the great advice.
                    I think the stress of all this can be overwhelming and does get to you. I have received invaluable advice from this site and am very grateful. I have my hearing in a few weeks and will let you guys know of the outcome.
                    P.s. In the future will doing a full screening of tenants before agreeing any contract, even if i know them.

                    Thanks again.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I hope the hearing goes well for you.

                      Screening alone may give you an idea of past conduct, which is a very ueful indicator. However, in addition to this you need to assess if you will be able to recover any losses from the tenant (employment/assets) and make sure you have a decent deposit &/or a worthwhile guarantor.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A similar thing is happening to me right now. The council are deciding whether or not to pay the tenant directly as he as requested it . He still has not paid back any of the money he owes me , which is excess of the 8 wks he owes . Do you think it is likely the council wil revert their decision and pay him instead? I am completely fed up with this whole situation do the council actually do anything to protect the landlord from these scam tenants

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ryan11 View Post
                          A similar thing is happening to me right now. The council are deciding whether or not to pay the tenant directly as he as requested it . He still has not paid back any of the money he owes me , which is excess of the 8 wks he owes . Do you think it is likely the council wil revert their decision and pay him instead? I am completely fed up with this whole situation do the council actually do anything to protect the landlord from these scam tenants
                          It is worth bearing in mind that it is not the councils responsibility to police what the tenant spends their housing benefit on - it's a bit like child benefit that doesn't have to be spent on children! The council also have no responsibility to you, your contract is with the tenant - where they get the money from to pay you is the tenants responsibility. I personally would not expect your council to resume payments to the tenant, if that is any consolation.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ayla View Post
                            Thankyou everyone for the great advice.
                            I think the stress of all this can be overwhelming and does get to you. I have received invaluable advice from this site and am very grateful. I have my hearing in a few weeks and will let you guys know of the outcome.
                            P.s. In the future will doing a full screening of tenants before agreeing any contract, even if i know them.

                            Thanks again.
                            Ayla, this really is an excellent site for advice. I have received lots of excellent advice (...thanks Snorkerz)from here. My father rented a flat in Croydon within minutes from Gumtree. Just don't accept DSS and go for private working tenants. Ask them to show you proof of their income, letters from their employer, we didn't take a deposit, but you should (I know that now..), and whatever you do, if your double minded about anything...move onto the next candidate. Its a 'dog eat dog' world out there, but don't give up...the Market for renting will only be getting stronger and although your feeling 'abused' right now, once all this is over, you'll be able to think straight and recover.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well some time since this post.
                              I feel it necessary to let you guys know that i am know rid of the tenants (who have been rehoused by the council).
                              I was actually really shocked as i wrote a letter to homeless officer explaining the whole situation however not only did they not acknowledge my letter, they also decided to disregard the fact that it was obviouse tenant made them selves intentionally homeless.

                              So know i know that if council ask me questions i too will ignore them.

                              So house is now fully refurbished and awaiting propective non-dss, strutinized tenants.

                              Good luck to all going through what i went through.

                              Comment

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