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

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    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


      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?)


        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


          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.


            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...


              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.
              Michael Clayton


                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.
                Michael Clayton


                  With regards to payee issues, please refer to my previous posting:


                  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.
                  Michael Clayton


                    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?


                      HB 8 weeks in arrears- Council rule in favour of T

                      I had a T who was 8 weeks in arrears due to their LHA claim taking a lifetime to be processed (for a number of reasons mainly down to slowness of information being passed to LA by T). I requested that once the rent was backdated that it be paid direct to my account. After another month and a half, I received a letter from the LA stating approximately 3/4 of rent arrears would be paid direct to me, but the rest would be paid to T, as would any future payments.

                      The payment was processed, but the T then stated he had not received his payment. I then re-contacted the LA, and was informed that the payment had been processed. At this point I appealed the decision made by the LA to pay future rent to tenant. Another 3 weeks passed with no response from the LA, so I tried phoning to speak to the advisor who was dealing with my appeal, but 3 times in 3 days I was told the person was dealing with another customer, and that they would phone me back later that day. During this third day of calling I received a text from the tenant stating they had moved out. I visited the house, to find the house in a filthy condition and a freezer missing. I tried contacting the tenant to find a forwarding address, but was told in no uncertain terms where to go .

                      The next day I went into the LA office to speak to the advisor direct to sort this out, but when I finally managed to speak the them, I was informed that another payment had already been paid to the tenant. After explaining what had happened I was told there was nothing they could do, as the payment had already been made.

                      Given that I knew the T would still be claiming HB, I asked if they would give me the T's new address, but was told this was not possible.

                      Due to the excessive timescales of the LA responding to my appeal, do I have any grounds to ask the LA to pay me the rent arrears that the T has left behind?


                        I am surprised that the LA continued to pay the T once an appeal was logged. I would write to the LA and explain the situation to them and ask for a response in writing. If you are unhappy with the response all LA have a complaints procedure set out on their website - i would follow that.


                          I have lodged a formal complaint, through the LA's Corperate complaints procedure.

                          I will update this board once i receive a reply.


                            Be persistent. I have found that most LA will try and fob you off, but as long as you have it in writing and can provide dates of when you spoke to the HB dept etc, they will have to pay attention.


                              It is not my place to tell you what to do. I am a humble HB practitioner. All I can suggest is that you factor in the potential costs of eviction: -

                              Late payments,
                              Eviction process with section 8 / 21 – via solicitor,
                              Additional arrears before court appearance,
                              Court appearance – waste of the day and expenses
                              Bailiffs called for final eviction, if needed
                              New locks,
                              Refurbishment for new tenant,
                              Void period for refurbishment and waiting for new tenants,
                              Letting agent tenant find.

                              I would place emphasis on helping the tenant find income maximisation as opposed to an eviction. However, it is not my business to tell you what to do.
                              Michael Clayton


                                Originally posted by Michael (Topic Expert) View Post
                                There is a scheme called Discretionary Housing Payment within HB.
                                Michael, could you expand on that statement please. It's the first time I've heard of it.
                                I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg


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