Problem with housing benefit tenant

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    Problem with housing benefit tenant

    I have a tenant who was paying me out of his housing benefit. He stopped paying for 4 months, so I applied to the council to pay me directly, as I can do that once the rent is over 2 months overdue.

    The tenant has given them the green light to send the rent directly to me, and I have sent all the evidence that the rent is well over due. Despite all this, I have now been waiting for over 2 months to hear back from the council. They don't discuss anything with me because the tenant hasn't authorized them to discuss with me. I don't get it!

    What sort of a place are we living in?! Tenant takes councils money, lives in a free flat, doesn't respond to me at all, and I can't even discuss or get answers from council and they are not giving me any updates as to what the status is or how much longer should I wait for the money that's supposed to be paid to me!

    Has anyone had similar experience with councils?

    Yes. I'm sure everyone who has HB tenants has had this problem. I'd issue a S8 and S21 immediately because he stopped paying for 4 months. It would be unfair to give him s8 and s21 if T was only waiting for HB payments but it would seem that he has had HB payments for the 4 months and not passed them on to you.

    It is them up to T to show S8 and s21 to HB department and for them to get their fingers out and pay T. I'd also tell HB dept that you are very concerned that due to arrears you have been forced to issue sections. I know it's frustrating but play the concerned LL and relationships will be easier.


      No, everybody who has had HB tenants has not had this problem: I for one haven't...
      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...


        Other than the non payment of rent do you have good communication with your T ?

        Could you get T to sign a letter addressed to council giving you permission to discuss their claim with yourself ? (would advise in future that this is signed when signing tenancy agreement).
        I'm a good tenant with great landlords
        I'm also a living, breathing, fully cooked female.



          The problem you've outlined is very common. You are quite entitled to demand payment direct to you, with or without your tenant's consent, and if the council refuses exercise your right of appeal or in situations where the tenant receives and misuses the HB payment pursue compensation for your loss. I deal with such claims, and the problems associated with them, on a daily basis and find that most councils don't fully understand either the DWP guidance or caselaw relating to this critically important issue. If you examine the articles section of my website you'll find a number of pieces covering this very topic.

          Good luck!



            The council are able to give some information without claimant permission,

            Such as if a claim is in process etc, dates amount of award, as they may be still paying tenant!

            But I would email the safe guard request and pester the housing benefits
            It normally take the councils I have the pleasure to deal with 5-6 weeks. They normally ask for statements for proof of rent arrears, which I forward with the notices etc.


              Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
              No, everybody who has had HB tenants has not had this problem: I for one haven't...
              Trust me artfullodger - you are lucky.

              My problems didn't get quite so bad but because of it, I will not take a full housing benefit tenant again. As soon as tenant goes on a training course or slight change in circumstances - rent gets suspended and takes months to rectify. I had three and a half years of not being able to rely on exact dates for rents to be paid, and at times between 2 and 3 months without any rent.


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