DSS- questions regarding payment to landlord

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    DSS- questions regarding payment to landlord

    I'm a landlord and I have a DSS tenant. I receive monthly payments directly from the council into my account.

    Just curious if anyone knows the actual law/legislation on this matter.

    1) by law, who gets to decide who receives the payment directly, the landlord or the tenant? When I went through the process, my letting agent handled it all.

    2) can the tenant suddenly stop the direct payments, and declare that he/she wants to receive them direct from now on?

    3) I've heard a lot of people say that from now on, by law, tenants should receive payments direct. This is to encourage them to become independant and manage their own money. But i've also heard that, by law, landlords should receive rent, and this is to avoid tenants from spending the money on other things. Which is true?

    A lot of people have been giving me a lot of different answers, just wanted some solid answers.

    Many thanks in advance.

    #2
    My understanding is that Local Housing Allowance applies to all new claims but not retrospectively to existing HB claimants - it will only kick in if HB claimants move address or to those claiming it now for the first time.

    Under HB, I believe the landlord and tenant can agree who directly receives the payment and complete a form to arrange this. Alternatively, if the tenant is receiving HB but has arrears of several months, the landlord can arrange with the local authority to change this so they receive the payment.

    Under LHA, payment is normally made to the tenant unless there are reasons why this can't be done (such as the tenant having learning difficulties). The criteria to determine this is that the tenant is

    in arrears of 8 weeks or more
    unlikely to pay their rent
    deemed unable to manage their own affairs.

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTax...me/DG_10018928

    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/housingbenefit...rocessing/lha/

    So it ultimately depends on whether your tenant is claiming HB or LHA.

    Comment


      #3
      The council where I am now only pay the tennnants. There was uproar from the landlords around here with meetings galore but nothing could be done!

      Comment


        #4
        Ahh many thanks, Beeber.

        I had no idea there was a difference between HB and LHA in regards to accommodation payment.

        I actually looked up what you said, and you were spot on.

        I found this on the Housing Benefit page:

        If you're not a council tenant and not living in an area covered by the Local Housing Allowance, you can choose to have your Housing Benefit paid:

        * directly to your landlord
        * to you by cheque
        * by Direct Payment into your bank or building society account

        http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTax...me/DG_10018926


        And I found this on the link you provided:

        The payment will normally be made to you straight to your bank or building society account (if you have one) or by cheque. Payment is not normally made to your landlord.


        It is up to you to pay the rent to your landlord. If you don't pay rent, you may be taken to court and evicted form the property.

        If you are worried about managing your money, ask your local council if they can help you. In some cases they may be able to pay your benefit to your landlord.




        Makes perfect sense now.

        Thanks once again.

        Comment


          #5
          Here is a good article explaining difference between HB and LHA
          Click

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Cem View Post
            Here is a good article explaining difference between HB and LHA
            Click
            His explanation is reasonably good. His obscenity isn't. His video is, er, entirely irrelevant!
            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Izzycam View Post
              The council where I am now only pay the tennnants. There was uproar from the landlords around here with meetings galore but nothing could be done!
              Ditto - Our LA changed in April to tenant payment I have had a torrid 5 months, with sect 8 & 21's all over the place as a result - I will not entertain another HB tenant

              Comment


                #8
                The idea behind LHA is to make the tenant feel more in control of their finances. It's meant to be a good thing. Of course lots of landlords who used to consider taking tenants on HB because they knew they would get their rent each month now won't touch them - as demonstrated here.

                Wasn't difficult to see coming really was it.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Key View Post
                  Ditto - Our LA changed in April to tenant payment I have had a torrid 5 months, with sect 8 & 21's all over the place as a result - I will not entertain another HB tenant
                  It's a nightmare, I rent in one of the most underprivileged areas in the whole of the uk and to be quite truthful a lot of the tennants haven't got the skills to handle this kind of money.(most don't even have bank accounts). They ask me.... can the council pay direct so that we don't get into arreas. I'm still grappling with it all........

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Another thing I find very unusual, the new applicants of Housing Benefit who are just moving into their accomodation, get more than the tennants in like for like properties who had tennancy agreements before the new reg's came into play. (This makes older tennants who were perfectly happy before more likely to move, to get more of their rent paid)......oh and while I'm on a roll .... If they live in council properties they don't pay they're tennants direct, no sireeee.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      It is a very difficult situation. Although I am not keen on HB or really LHA applicants, sometimes they really have to be considered. I have a very nice two bed property available at the moment. I have had it for about 8 years. When I started it's rent was £380 PCM. Three years ago I increased it to £425 - no problem. A year ago, this tenant left to move into his own property and another was found at the same rent. This tenant has now moved on for fair reasons. Can I find another tenant at £425? My agent has now booked 12 viewings and there have been 12 no-shows!
                      Earlier today I was talking to another agent who is advertising for landlords with two and three bed properties in my area. He told m that if I accept DSS then I could probably get £475 PCM for my property. It's tempting!

                      P.P.
                      Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Be warned! We deal with a lot of HB tenants and as LHA is filtering through it is causing nothing but trouble. Previously 'good' tenants who switch to LHA suddenly start spending the money. New tenants on LHA go straight into 2 months arrears. The problem is that these people are scum - they really are. I don't say that just to be nasty, I've come to that conclusion after several years of working both at the frontline of the welfare state and as a letting agent and landlord. They are vermin who blatantly still try to lie to you about 'never having got the money' even when the council have confirmed that they've cashed the cheques! They're so thick they think you will believe anything. They were tolerable tenants when HB was paying us directly because they had no ambition to progress their lives and so would be in the houses for years with rent coming in every month, but since April and the advent of LHA I've issued more S8s than I have in the last 4 years in this business. I getting to the point that I would rather have an empty property than put an LHA tenant in it. This government has a ludicrous idea that all people are equal and that with the right encouragement these filthy 'people' can join the rest of us suckers as honest taxpayers. They are so wrong! Phew - I feel better for that. :-)

                        Comment


                          #13
                          greengriff
                          Be warned.
                          You have to get used to the system before labelling people.

                          FACT - a %age of your tenants will be recieving LHA payments.

                          You've had a good old moan, and that's fine but it's about managing the situation, not ALWAYS looking for a cop out, which seems like you're doing.
                          You are really wanting to propotion blame rather than manage this property.
                          You have spent FOUR years in the business (as you state) but you really don't know your a**e from your elbow!
                          All of your points are relevant but from a percentage point of view you are a million miles away from the truth.
                          Of course we get bad tenants but why would they want to jeapordise this by taking the attitude that you have portrayed.
                          Free it up a little and you'll get nmore return foryou time and effort.
                          Ambition is Critical

                          I don't profess to be a knowledge in all areas, my advice is based on life experience.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I certainly do know my ar*e from my elbow, which why I'm sitting on my elbow writing this :-)

                            We have 80+ properties with HB tenants in them and since April about ten of them have switched to LHA for various reasons and we've had to serve 5 Section 8s!

                            As for how to manage them to stop them spending the money I'm open to suggestions. We've tried writing to and telephoning them when they switch to warn them of the consequences but it hasn't worked. They just can't help it!

                            I entirely stick by my earlier assertation that they are scum. I'll give you some tips on how to spot them:

                            1. Everything that happens to them in life is somebody else's fault
                            2. They have a LOT of stuff cluttering up the house, and especially a very big TV.
                            3. They may be 'single mums' on housing benefit but there is a remarkable amount of 'man stuff' around the property (like football trophies and men's clothes)
                            4. They lie pathologically (one of my dearest 'single mother' tenants - luckily still on HB - tries to tell me that the man who's ALWAYS in the house when I visit is her brother, even though he has her name tattooed over a heart on his forearm.)
                            5. They are often incredibly dumb (see point 4 above).
                            6. They cannot control their kids, who are invariably dirty and rat like.
                            7. If they are white then they are often a kind of 'grey' colour (I guess from a poor diet and unhealthy lifestyle)

                            I'm sure I cold think of more, but they'll do for starters.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by greengriff View Post
                              Be warned! We deal with a lot of HB tenants and as LHA is filtering through it is causing nothing but trouble. Previously 'good' tenants who switch to LHA suddenly start spending the money. New tenants on LHA go straight into 2 months arrears. The problem is that these people are scum - they really are. I don't say that just to be nasty, I've come to that conclusion after several years of working both at the frontline of the welfare state and as a letting agent and landlord. They are vermin who blatantly still try to lie to you about 'never having got the money' even when the council have confirmed that they've cashed the cheques! They're so thick they think you will believe anything. They were tolerable tenants when HB was paying us directly because they had no ambition to progress their lives and so would be in the houses for years with rent coming in every month, but since April and the advent of LHA I've issued more S8s than I have in the last 4 years in this business. I getting to the point that I would rather have an empty property than put an LHA tenant in it. This government has a ludicrous idea that all people are equal and that with the right encouragement these filthy 'people' can join the rest of us suckers as honest taxpayers. They are so wrong! Phew - I feel better for that. :-)
                              Wow, maybe me detects you've been in the landlord game too long. Ha!Ha!, seriously though the new way of payment is causing lots of problems!!!

                              Comment

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