Can L make Council pay LHA/HB direct on account of rent?

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    #16
    The council can pay rent allowance (whether it be traditional HB or the new LHA) when it is in the best interests of the claimant to do so. Likewise, when it is considered that the tenant will have difficulty in controlling their own affairs, it might be a better option to pay landlord.

    The 8-week rule is mandatory. What is not realised is that during arrears weeks 1 to 8, you can act if you foresee problems. Although you (as landlord) have 3rd party status in HB, you can have a bearing - but only if you are pro-active.

    The local authority should account for any arrears before choosing who to pay. A tenant cannot wipe the slate clean when migrating from non-LHA to LHA.

    Also, I am slightly concerned as to how and why this landlord 'switched' his/her tenant over. Firstly, it is the tenant's claim. By this, I mean that a landlord might not be party to all the circumstances. Secondly, there are so many variables, it is very important to think through all the possible consequences of such an action. An ill-advised decision could be irreversable and might end up costing a landlord thousands. Be very wary and take plenty of advice before advocating any changes.
    Michael Clayton

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      #17
      HB tenant is in rent arrears due to Council

      My tenant's first six month contract is just about to finish, so I have asked for the arrears on her rent to be paid in full before I give her a new contract. The council (stupidly in my opinion) pay out HB to her in two weekly back payments, which means that she's constantly in arrears with her rent. Before now this would not have abeen a problem but as her contract is about to finish, I dont want there to be any overlap with payment as it would mean when I get rid of her (which I am planning on doing in a few months for a variety of reasons) there will still be rent outstanding, which I will probably not see. Any ideas of where I stand legally in requesting these three weeks of arrears if that's how the council pay her?

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        #18
        Does T pay any part of the rent from her own resources/earnings, or is the entire rent HB/LHA-funded?
        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).

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          #19
          It's entirely HB funded, illegally I might add which is one of the reasons I want rid. The council will not pay me direct however even with her consent and I know I have to wait til she is 8 weeks in arrears to force them to pay me direct.

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            #20
            Originally posted by penny_sweet View Post
            It's entirely HB funded, illegally I might add which is one of the reasons I want rid. The council will not pay me direct however even with her consent and I know I have to wait til she is 8 weeks in arrears to force them to pay me direct.
            1. Not 'in arrears' but 'unpaid'.
            2. You can nevertheless serve a s.8 Notice (g8/10/11) if you want.
            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).

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              #21
              Is this the best route to take even if I don't want her to move out just yet? I have found a new tenant but they cannot move in for at the very least 2 months, and I can't really afford to have the house sitting empty til then. In other words can I use this as a threat to get her to pay up?

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                #22
                Originally posted by penny_sweet View Post
                Is this the best route to take even if I don't want her to move out just yet? I have found a new tenant but they cannot move in for at the very least 2 months, and I can't really afford to have the house sitting empty til then. In other words can I use this as a threat to get her to pay up?
                I cannot foretell the future; but, yes, it can be used as a prod to T. If T leaves before the Notice operates, she is still liable for rent until when she would have had to give-up possession; and, anyway, her rent is not being fully paid at present so your qualms about "can't really afford to have the house sitting empty until then" are a bit illusory!
                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).

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                  #23
                  Forgot to mention that if the tenant is receiving LHA/HB etc they will not leave until the bailiffs arrive (which can take from 1 to 6 months after the PO being granted!). So if you want the tenant to leave after 2 months, i suggest you should start proceedings now.

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                    #24
                    Just to add if LHA is paid to tenant, which in most cases it is, it is paid 2 weekly in arrears. If it goes to LL then it is paid every 4 weeks.

                    The reason for this is still a mystery to me.. !

                    Shaf

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                      #25
                      Getting LHA paid direct, 8 weeks unpaid

                      Hi

                      I have the following scenario

                      A couple moved into a 1 bedroom flat as working tenants, paid rent ok and on time. However they both lost their jobs 2/3 months ago and LL hasn't received rent since then, so techinally 2 months unpaid.

                      I have found out they are getting LHA and are not passing the rent on to LL, LL has tried ring LA to explain his tenants are in arrears of 8 weeks and counting and would like LHA paid direct to him.

                      However the Housing Benefit dept has just quoted Data Protection advising that tenant has not given permission to discuss claim.

                      My question is, is there a way around this, I would normally get Ts to sign a declaration at start of tenancy give authorisation to discuss LHA claim but on this occasion didn't feel it necessary.

                      Any help would be good...
                      Thanks

                      Shaf

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                        #26
                        Go to the council offices, prove that your tenant has not paid for 8 weeks, (show rent book etc). They should then get it paid over to you.
                        They are right in saying they can't discuss the tenants information with you, if the form is not signed, but you need to present your case in writing.
                        I think you will find they will be helpful, this senario is occurring all the time for them, since April.

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                          #27
                          Thanks Izzycam

                          I guess your right it will have to be writing, as going in person is impossible, I'd have to take a pack lunch with me if I did.

                          As regards proof, what sort of proof can I give, as don't have rent book, rent is charged pcm, and they used to pay cash or somtimes by cheque.

                          Thanks

                          Shaf

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                            #28
                            The bumf that comes with our local council says,
                            The landlord must provide evidence of the rent due.
                            Any payments that have been made and amount outstanding.
                            This can be open to interpretation, so I suggest you telephone them and ask exactly what they need from you, they don't take sides so will tell you the way forward.
                            Good luck!

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                              #29
                              I wrote to them formally quoting the fact that they were legally obliged to pay me directly. They immediately stopped the tenants housing benefit whilst they investigated. They gave tenant 14 days to prove he was up to date with payments. He could not. From that point the money was paid directly to me. You do not need to discuss the case at all with them so DPA does not apply! Councils do try to wriggle out of this and you have to be firm and show that you know what you are entitled to. Good luck
                              Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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                                #30
                                In my experience my council had a form i had to fill which also requested bank statements or rent book or the such if applicable. Luckily the tenants use to pay directly into my bank account and you could clearly see that they had stopped doing this.
                                I would like to think that if i had not had those bank statements, the council would have asked the tenants to prove they had paid - but alas i think i would be in a difficult position. Islandgirl you were very lucky with your council.

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