Housing Benefit Tenant Arrears

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    Housing Benefit Tenant Arrears

    We have a tenant who is in receipt of housing benefit. HB only pay a portion of the rent and the tenant then pays the additional amount herself. The HB is paid direct to the tenant. The rent is paid 4 weeks in arrears.

    My questions are:

    1. Is it correct that once the tenant is 8 weeks in arrears we can ask the council to pay their portion of the rent direct to us?

    2. As the rent is already paid in arrears due to HB system, am I right in assuming that we only have to wait another 4 weeks to request the direct payment from the council?

    We are serving section 21 this afternoon. Once tenant receives this I very much doubt if she will pay any more rent, hence the above questions.

    Many Thanks

    1. Yes. However, I would be contacting the council now and asking them to determine that it is in the tenants best interests to pay the HB over to you even though it is lower than 8 weeks in rent arrears. Point out any history of not paying the difference between the HB and the contractual rent.

    2. As soon as 8 weeks rent is outstanding, you should be, if not done already as at 1 above, be demanding the council stop payments to the tenant and pay direct to you.


      Thanks ever so much for the reply. You have confirmed what I was hoping was right. I have been down to the council offices today but they are closed until next Tuesday, hence posting the question on here.
      I will be visiting their offices again when they re-open to set the wheels in motion. Will keep you informed.
      Thanks again, appreciated.


        Have been to the council offices today with a copy of the S21 notice and a covering letter detailing rent arrears and circumstances.
        We last received the rent on the 29th November 2005 covering the period from 27th October until 26th November. Rent due again on 27th December - still not received. The tenant is now just over 5 weeks in arrears. The next housing benefit payment is due on the 13th January.
        This afternoon I have received a telephone call from the council informing me that they are obliged to wait the 8 weeks before they can redirect the housing benefit to us.
        Does anyone know if there is any way at all that housing benefit can be redirected before the 8 weeks?


          Only with written permission of the tenant, which seems highly unlikely in this case.


            If you are still in talking terms with your tenant (which I think you still will be). Just take them down to housing benefit and ask them to sign the relevant documents, so all payments go to your bank account and not the tenant. Also get them to sign documents that let you phone on there behalf, so you can find out what is happening with the HB claim (if you already haven’t done so).

            Last edited by Just joint; 11-04-2007, 22:30 PM.


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