How can I collect rent arrears from a benefits tenant who has left?

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    How can I collect rent arrears from a benefits tenant who has left?

    he is claiming ESA, DLA and housing benefit.
    he's moved to a different part of the country.
    rent arrears are £9000

    #2
    a) You must sue him when you can as a matter of principle as so that his thievery can be recorded
    b) You will not see your money again unless he starts earning a living in the future
    c) Was he getting these benefits from the start - if so I am afraid you only have yourself to blame
    d) Charge the arrears to the next tenants as much as possible (on average costs tend to get paid by the good tenants - as usual) and make sure you don't let anyone who smells the same anywhere near in future.

    Good luck

    Comment


      #3
      The good news is he has left. Could have been worse. The bad news is you are unlikely to see this money. Ever, You have to ask if it is worth going to court and paying the costs (yes they will be added to his debt but see "the bad news".) May be better just to learn from the experience and put it behind you?
      Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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        #4
        As said, learn from this and change your tenant business model, write the money off, it has gone.

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          #5
          I don't understand why I can't recover the rent arrears.

          The ex tenant receives benefits, almost £1500 per month in ESA, DLA, HB.

          That money is mine. What if I sue the DWP for his benefits money to be paid to me? How can a tenant just run up massive arrears and clear off?

          And how do I pass the debt on to the next tenant who enters my property... Higher rent?

          Comment


            #6
            And he told me he was working when he moved in

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Paxlo View Post
              I don't understand why I can't recover the rent arrears.

              That money is mine. What if I sue the DWP for his benefits money to be paid to me?
              You can sue the tenant, but if he has no assets then it's pointless.
              You can't sue the DWP, and you can't have the money deducted from benefits.

              Originally posted by Paxlo View Post
              And how do I pass the debt on to the next tenant who enters my property... Higher rent?
              Yes, but it's a bit of a meaningless statement - you will obviously charge whatever rent you can get, regardless of arrears.

              Comment


                #8
                Make sure you get court judgement against him then CCJ unless he pays.. That way he finds credit agreements impossible/v expensive (eg mobile 'phone deal) and any landlord with 1/2 a brain who credit checks gets a red flag warning.

                In my humble opinion those landlords who don;t bother to/can't see the advantages to do this are the cause of a lot of grief to decent landlords and not enough damage to cheating ex-tenants.

                You've then 6 years to hope to collect from them getting paye job/assets/inheritance/marriage.

                As I understand it only councils or housing assoc can collect from benefits of ex-tenants, and then capped at £3 or £4 ..

                What were their credit checks & landlord references like (especially the previous landlord???
                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...

                Comment


                  #9
                  theartfullodger,

                  +1000 to that. You must sue them. It is easy (albeit the courts are totally wacko right now), and cheap. You might get your money back, and there is a lot of point besides that (not least of which is that your next tenant might get a message).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I agree - always sue.
                    Make people realise that their behaviour has consequences (and it's a piece of cake to do).
                    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      MCOL - dead easy

                      Just do it!!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Paxlo View Post
                        And he told me he was working when he moved in
                        I am sorry to say but this statement alone brings up red flags as to just how thorough the checks on this tenant were, I assume just because he '' told '' you he was working you or your agent did the necessary checks ??? I worked with a guy who when in the mood for romance told the lucky prospective ladies that he was a pilot !!!! ........ he was not by the way.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Paxlo View Post
                          That money is mine.
                          No it isn't.

                          It's the benefit claimants legal entitlement under benefit legislation, you are not the benefit claimant.
                          What the claimant chooses to spend it on is their choice.
                          If they choose not to pay the rent then that's also their choice.

                          Just like if a working tenant choses not to pay the rent - you wouldn't try to say that his wages were yours and the employer should give then to you would you?

                          You actually have an advantage there with the Council/DWP over a tenants employer - But only if they are still your tenant.

                          If he was still your tenant then you could arrange for Housing Benefit or UC Housing Element to pay the claimants ongoing/future HB or UC-HE directly to you, both of which are capped at LHA rate; plus a nominal sum - just over £3 a week with HB, a little bit more with UC - for arrears.

                          You'd need a court order to attach an employees wages from their employer in a similar fashion, an dthat would only be for arrears not ongoing rent.

                          However as he is no longer your tenant then you can't get benefits paid directly to yourself because he has no ongoing/future liability to pay you any rent.

                          Your only option is to sue for the arrears, MCOL or court.
                          That's a civil matter between the two of you and nothing to do with the DWP.

                          If you do get a court judgement then you may be able to get a 3rd party deduction made against his ESA (he won't be able to claim UC if he has DLA care element and lives alone).
                          Again though it's not going to be a lot of money a week.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            nukecad,

                            If I got a Court Judgment how do I go about getting a third party deduction made against his ESA?

                            I would ask my solicitor to apply to the Court for his entire weekly rate of £197.50 of ESA to be seized and paid to me until the rent arrears are discharged. I know this is what he receives as he left behind opened bank statements.

                            Have other landlords done this? What is the procedure? At that rate, the arrears of £9000 will be paid off within a year but won't cover interest.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Paxlo View Post
                              I would ask my solicitor to apply to the Court for his entire weekly rate of £197.50 of ESA to be seized and paid to me until the rent arrears are discharged. I know this is what he receives as he left behind opened bank statements.
                              LOL - No chance.

                              You are proposing to leave a disabled person with no money to live on. - No court in the land is going to agree to that even if it were legally possible.

                              The amount that can be attached from benefits for a 3rd party deduction for debt is limited by legislation.
                              For ESA it will be a deduction of just over £3 a week.

                              PS. That should be £197.60 a week ESA and tells me that he is in the Support Group of ESA and has both the Enhanced Disability Premium and the Severe Disability Premium.
                              Getting SDP means he also has Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

                              Before you ask - No, you can't get any attachment against DLA or PIP.

                              Comment

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