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

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  • Moderator1
    replied
    Four threads by the same member have been merged here. Please do not start a new thread if you merely wish to continue a previous discussion or report on subsequent developments. It can cause unnecessary confusion (quite apart from losing the connection with facts previously established or legal points previously explained).

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  • tom999
    replied
    As proof of non-payment, its also useful to include bank account statements (if rent is paid via standing order into LL's bank account).

    Sometimes council's have an unfortunate habit of 'losing paperwork' in the post , so as a backup FAX the documents as well. If its urgent, you could ask for an appointment to see a Housing Officer in person.

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  • susanne
    replied
    i recently contacted a council with egard to a LHA tenant who is 8 weeks in arrears, i sent a schedule of rent due/rent paid/date paid/ number of days late ij paying and asked for direct payment from x date. From the schedule they could see she was consistently late by several weeks.

    a week later i sent another schedule showing increased arrears.

    they then wrote to tenant who could not prove she had paid and teh coundil has agreed to pay me direct

    Leave a comment:


  • tom999
    replied
    Rent Arrears and Housing Officer's

    The HO's that I have come across are unsympathetic to LL's plight of rent arrears. Unfortunately, some will just see their employment by the local council, as 'just doing their job', and do not know the rules!

    But, there are a few who do know their stuff - I spoke to a helpful HO yesterday - he will be sending form to tenant for direct payment to LL.

    As has been mentioned elsewhere, its important for the LL to be pro-active and take action in weeks 1-8 of rent arrears to inform the council of ANY rent arrears (with evidence of non-payment) and remind them that their decision to continue paying a tenant who is pocketing HB and not paying rent with it is plainly negligence.

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  • Emma1973
    replied
    A HO that isnt aware of the rules? I'm shocked!

    Tell him to go look on his own Council website to see the rules!

    Its 8 weeks eligible rent as per the tenancy agreement, its exactly the same as under the old HB rules.
    I'm also interested as to how they would manage to base it on the LHA rates, if rent was £100 a week, after 8 weeks the arrears would be £800, but if the LHA is only £50 after 8 weeks the arrears would be £400, so are they saying it would be another 2 months before the arrears could be paid to you?
    Absolute nonsense!

    And this from Councils who automatically issue Notice of Possession Orders if no rent for 8 weeks!

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  • tom999
    replied
    Thanks Emma,

    That's what I would have thought, however, I spoke to a housing officer and he said it was 8 weeks in arrears according to the LHA rate.

    Could it be that the housing officer does not know the rules - and needs to be reminded of local authority's obligations?

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  • Emma1973
    replied
    It is rent arrears equivalant to 8 weeks rent or more, therefore it is rent arrears as per the tenancy agreement.

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  • tom999
    replied
    LHA: tenant 8 weeks in arrrears

    Hi all,

    Couple of quick questions to the experts please:

    1. Are the 8 weeks in arrears based on
    (a) the local authority's (LHA) rates, or
    (b) the rent stated on the tenancy agreement (AST)?

    2 If the local authority paid 4 weeks in arrears, does this mean that the 8 week mandatory rule would only be effective if tenant had 12 weeks of arrears?

    Thanks.

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael Clayton
    replied
    A discretionary housing payment can be paid if the council believes that a tenant needs further help with housing costs. This may include help with paying off arrears in some circumstances, although not if the tenant was receiving enough housing benefit to pay all rent at the time the arrears built up.

    Each housing benefit department is given a pot of money and they are allowed to decide who should be given the payments.

    The housing benefit department will usually take into account any special circumstances that contribute to financial difficulties, for example, if a tenant :

    has to pay child maintenance
    has to pay legal costs
    has extra heating costs because they spend a lot of time at home
    because they are sick or have a disability
    has additional travel costs because of travel to a doctor or hospital or cares for a relative or friend.


    Discretionary Housing Payment is only available on application to the local authority.

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  • jta
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael Clayton
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • MaryQK
    replied
    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.

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

    I will update this board once i receive a reply.

    Leave a comment:


  • MaryQK
    replied
    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.

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  • LeoMc
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:

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