councils duty - tenant not paying HB to landlord

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  • councils duty - tenant not paying HB to landlord

    I have a nightmare tenant , he didnt pay a penny from his HB to me for the first 4 mths of his tenancy .I went to the council and they started directly , thank GOD !. But now the scam artist tenant has gone back to the council to request benefits to be paid back to him directly . I am still awaiting the decision from the council. I am totaly disgusted with the situation and I cannot understand how the council would be able to justify paying HB to someone who already owes me at least 2.5k already . I've issued the tenant a section 21 giving him 2mths notice to quit hopefully he will go quietly then but if he doesnt and he stays on until I get a possess ion order which may be several wks or months away who then is responsible for repairs etc I dont see how it could be the landlord as the AST would have expired.
    I am interested to know this as this tenant will probably cite that I the landlord have not done repairs ( even though I have) the council being so idiotic actually even say on one of their websites if the tenant does not pay Hb to the landlord they will still continue paying the tenant if they withholding money because of repairs have not been done.
    The whole Hb system is totally flawed hopefully if I get out of this without getting my property reposessed i will not in a million sundays give it to someone on hb

  • #2
    HErr.. S21 is not a notice to quit, it does not change the tenancy. Was there a deposit,was it protected, can you proved you served, subsequently,the prescribed info? If not, s21 invalid
    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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    • #3
      Repairs are always LL responsibility* even when no rent is coming in (sorry).

      What repairs exactly ? Ts sometimes with-hold rent due to LL not fulfilling their repair obligations. Ts can do this is certain circumstances (there is a procedure to follow).

      *although T can be charged for it if you can prove T damage.
      I'm a good tenant with great landlords
      I'm also a living, breathing, fully cooked female.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
        HErr.. S21 is not a notice to quit, it does not change the tenancy. Was there a deposit,was it protected, can you proved you served, subsequently,the prescribed info? If not, s21 invalid
        I believe I have done the right course of action
        I have issued a section 21 (1)b giving 2 mths notice.
        His AST runs out in June. After that time if he is still
        There I have to then apply for a possession order then subsequent court bailiffs. As far as deposit goes the letting agent (equally dubious) sorted it out , all I know is what is written on the tenancy , that it is with a govn approoved scheme. What proof will the courts need if I have to apply for a possession order

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        • #5
          The repairs , that's a big joke he so far invents them. He said the extractor fan was not working , tradesman went round , and apparently nothing wrong with it. He also complained that the toilet , which is perfectly fine takes too long to fill up , it does not it is the same as any other toilet. I know if tenants ever do withhold rent they have to go through proper channels, which is a dicey. But from what I can make out the council regard this as a perfectly legitimate excuse for not paying the hb to the landlord

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          • #6
            What expiry date was on the section 21(1)(b) notice - and was it "after xx/xx/2012" or "on xx/xx/2012"?
            What is the end date of the tenants fixed term?
            How did you serve the s21? - Does the tenancy agreement say that is an acceptable form of service?

            You will need to be able to tell the court which scheme the deposit is in, and what the reference number is.

            If the tenant disputes that it was protected before the section 21 was served (you do have proof of service?) then you will have to provide proof of when it was protected. Likewise with the 'prescribed information' - a requirement under section 213 of the 2004 Housing Act (as amended today!).

            If the deposit is not protected and the prescribed information is not supplied by 5th May then you will not be able to serve a valid s21 (if the current one is not useable) without returning the deposit to the tenant.

            It would have its risks, but have you considered evicting using section 8? With that you can get a court order for the missing rent (enforcing it may be a different matter).

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ryan11 View Post
              The repairs , that's a big joke he so far invents them. He said the extractor fan was not working , tradesman went round , and apparently nothing wrong with it. He also complained that the toilet , which is perfectly fine takes too long to fill up , it does not it is the same as any other toilet. I know if tenants ever do withhold rent they have to go through proper channels, which is a dicey. But from what I can make out the council regard this as a perfectly legitimate excuse for not paying the hb to the landlord
              Well IMO your council are wrong. Those don't sound like repair issues which would be reasonable to with-hold rent for. It is a question that needed to be asked though because it's not unheard of that a LL has ignored a T's requests to fix a ceiling that has come down following a leak or not fixed a boiler for 5 months (for example). Serious repair issues can complicate things if you wanted to go down the section 8 route, which is why I asked.

              In order for your T to get payments made to him again he needs to show the council proof of payment to you. If he can't then he shouldn't be able to get the payments re-established and back-payments should be made to you.
              I'm a good tenant with great landlords
              I'm also a living, breathing, fully cooked female.

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              • #8
                I have put a couple of days after the ast ends, was this the wrong thing to do ? I have sent it by recorded delivery . I will contact my dodgey letting agent with regards to the deposit they apparently have sorted it out but I don't have any info about it

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ryan11 View Post
                  I have put a couple of days after the ast ends, was this the wrong thing to do ? I have sent it by recorded delivery . I will contact my dodgey letting agent with regards to the deposit they apparently have sorted it out but I don't have any info about it
                  Recorded delivery may be a problem - if the tenant refuses to sign then some judges will not accept that as service. Does the AST say that service by post is acceptable? Has the RD been signed for?

                  You have already mentioned that your expiry date is after the end of the fixed term - which is good - So long as there is at least 2 months between service (not posting) and the expiry date, and the expiry date is expressed as 'after' that date, then you should be fine so long as the deposit situation is in order.

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                  • #10
                    I was a bit shocked when I read that , it was actually merton councils website and in the lha guidance notes that the councils adhere to ,but maybe like you said it is essential repairs. The reason I do get a bit worried is that the tenant complains about everything and thinks he is hard done by if you dont come and change a lightbulb , totally infuriating ! and made worse that he owes me so much money. Thanks for your post , i may sleep a bit easier tonight.

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                    • #11
                      If he is genuinely asking for lightbulbs, I can assure you you don't have to replace them.

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