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

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  • WarwickGrad
    replied
    hey michael

    thanks for the reply

    havent heard of the discretionary housing benefit, will look into it

    what would the costs of eveiction be? first time i'm evicting someone

    the tenant is refusing to pay anything

    i would attract a tenant paying that yes (its a brand new house), the diffrence amounts to about 2k per year

    this tenant has been problematic for 2 years, with the outstanding rent payments - which ive written off after coming to an arrangement with him

    what would you do in this situation?

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael Clayton
    replied
    With regards to payee issues, please refer to my previous posting:

    http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...ad.php?t=16131

    Penny. You make a reference to the fact that HB is being obtained illegally. This should be reported to the authority. If you manage to secure direct HB payments (in the knowledge that there is some kind of fiddle going on) then you could be throwing yourself open to criminal proceedings.

    Personally, I would tolerate a static arrears situation if that was your only problem i.e. you knew that payments (in respect of a past period) were going to come through. However, it is obvious that you are facing some other difficulties.

    On the subject of payments, from 7/10/1996, any new HB awards reverted from two or four weekly advanced payments to two/four weekly arrears payments. I cannot recall exactly why this was done. I believe it was partly to stop tenants absconding with the HB cheque. Also, the decision to pay landlords in 4-week arrears cycles (only) was probably intended as a cost cutting measure. Moreover, landlords are unlikely to abscond! I doubt it was ever documented, but another reason was possbily to keep some money in the public coffers for a few weeks longer.

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  • Michael Clayton
    replied
    You can submit a statement to the local authority advising them that a tenant is in arrears. This can be done at any stage. You do not have to wait for eight weeks. Data Protection issues are not relevant. In submitting information to the local authority, you are not asking for any information concerning your tenant.

    Following receipt of your correspondence, the local authority should write to the HB claimant to request evidence of rent paid to date. These cases can sometimes lead on to fairly lengthy disputes in which no HB is awarded.

    In certain cases, there might be the posssibility of a claim (involving compensation) against the local authority. Particularly where there has been negligence in terms of the decision to pay (or continue to pay) the tenant.

    My advice is to take immediate action. Submit your letter/statement by recorded delivery. If visiting the council offices, obtain a receipt.

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael Clayton
    replied
    I answer this question as a Housing Benefit (HB) practitioner.

    The local authority will continue to pay HB. There is also a chance that they will continue to pay for the period taken to relinquish the tenancy (subject to a set period). (Housing Benefit Regulation 7).


    Your motiives for evicting this tenant seem transparent. He is not paying rent. It is your prerogative to evict.

    I am not advocating reasons for keeping this person on but bear in mind the following: -

    There is a scheme called Discretionary Housing Payment within HB. Have you explored all possibilities with your tenant?

    Have you considered the costs of a potential re-furbishment?

    Have you factored in the costs associated with eviction?

    Have you considered that the tenant may decide to withdraw payments altogether. He could ask the local authority to suspend HB.

    Threat of damage to your property?

    Can you attract another tenant who is able to pay £150.00 per week?


    I am not in a position to know the problems you are encountering. All I can do is to speculate. From what I gather, I would suggest that you work with the tenant in order to find a solution. There is no doubt that an eviction (together with all the hassle) will prove extremely costly. Seek out advice from an independent HB consultant.

    Leave a comment:


  • WarwickGrad
    replied
    The AST commenced on 21st December 2007 and is for three years.

    The rental rate is £1,600 p/c/m.

    The contract is my companys name but an agent was dealing with this; the arears have been going on for a while and the agent issues (an incorrect) Sec 8 notice.

    Since October we have been dealing directly with the Tenant; the contract makes no mention of the agent what so ever.

    H.B has been in the region of £1,072.

    While the Tenant has been paying £150 per month there is no agreement that this is his lower price and while we banked the £150 each month nothing written has been given to state that is the full payment of the rent...

    Leave a comment:


  • Ericthelobster
    replied
    Originally posted by WarwickGrad View Post
    the contract states £1600, i guess he owes me £300 p/m since oct and a further £150 p/m on top since last month, total amounts to £2000
    I don't know what the legal eagles think, but it sounds to me as if you've accepted the lower rent payment since October, which would therefore mean you can hardly turn round now and say that T is in arrears by 300/month since then, surely? In which case he'd only be £150 in arrears - a very small amount considering the large monthly rent - so you wouldn't have much of a case if you used S8.

    You haven't said anything about the tenancy agreement either, which precludes further advice - is this a standard AST, when did it start, has the fixed term of the agreement ended yet, and if not, when?

    I can't see why HB would suddenly now be withheld by you issuing a possession order; however it's possible that they would not rehouse T if he's deemed to have made himself intentionally homeless (ie by failing to pay rent) - you may be asked by the HB folk why you're repossessing. See other current thread on this.

    Leave a comment:


  • WarwickGrad
    replied
    section 8/21 info

    rent = £1600

    he couldnt afford it from october so i settled for him paying me £1300

    now he cant afford that either

    housing benefit pay £1150 p/m out of that

    as the contract states £1600, i guess he owes me £300 p/m since oct and a further £150 p/m on top since last month, total amounts to £2000

    Leave a comment:


  • Ericthelobster
    replied
    Originally posted by WarwickGrad
    he says he cant afford it anymore though
    Is he giving you advance warning of this, or is he already in arrears (and if so, by how much? and how much is the rent?)

    Leave a comment:


  • WarwickGrad
    replied
    Will HB stop if L serves T under s.8 or s.21?

    afternoon all

    i have a tenant who is on housing benefit

    he usually pays £150 towards his rent

    he says he cant afford it anymore though

    shall i serve him with a s8 or s21?

    more importantly, will the council stop paying his housing benefit if they find out i've issued him with a s8 or s21?

    if the answer to the latter questions is yes, then it may not pay me to try to evict him

    Leave a comment:


  • MaryQK
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • islandgirl
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Izzycam
    replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • shaf
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Izzycam
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • shaf
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:

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