Is housing benefit lost???????????

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  • Is housing benefit lost???????????

    Well where do I start – something like this.
    Good tenant – clean and tidy and pays promptly
    UNTIL – loss of job and girlfriend
    Depressed – too proud to visit doctors – rugby playing ex-forces in unknown territory - so I have to encourage to submit legitimate benefit claim.
    Submits claim for Job Seekers Allowance and Housing Benefit – I complete relevant proof of rent forms for verification – HB initially approved at Local Housing Allowance rate.
    The months pass by – I have previously waited for 17 weeks for Local Authority payments so no immediate alarm bells.
    In the ‘good old days’ when payment came direct to landlord it was possible to chase up and challenge the Local Authority if payments were not made, but now under the ‘new and improved’ system nothing is apparent for quite some time.
    Tenant has now presented me with a bundle of paperwork and signed authority to help with his claim. It is clear that he is not clerically minded (understatement) but has been offered no help or support.
    I have subsequently found that the tenant has both missed a couple of JSA signings and not complied with later requests for bank statements (internet account and pc sold due to lack of funds – local branch 8 miles walk from home – accounts empty though) consequently HB and JSA have been stopped.
    Tenant has NOT been working and there is no evidence to suggest as such, other than the incorrect assumption that a missed JSA signing suggests working and claim ended.
    Tenant is now working although wage is low so will struggle with rent/bills as well as arrears so I am have taken the decision to try to help recover lost dues for us both.

    My gut feeling is that failing to sign-on will result in loss of JSA – is that right?
    The question is where do I stand with regard to lost Housing Benefit.

    Hope that makes sense and please ask if something isn’t too clear.

    Thanks TT

  • #2
    You have to decide how to play this - but remember, you have no obligation at all to get involved in this issue - and compromises now are likely to lead to bigger 'favours' later.

    You ask where you stand with housing benefit?

    It isn't really an issue to you. Your contract is with the tenant, where he gets the money to pay the rent is up to him.

    If he stops paying the rent, you contact your guarantor, phone your landlord insurance company, or do what most of us have to do... look at the options to evict.

    Has your tenant paid a deposit? Is it protected?

    How much is the rent?

    How much is tenant currently behind on rent?

    When was last tenancy agreement dated?

    How long was the 'fixed term'?


    • #3
      He probabaly has a good chance of requesting backdated benefit as can show good cause.

      He will need to make a statement saying that for the periods he didnt sign on he had no income.

      He will need to show bank accounts to prove this.

      Is it possible to get him to see CAb or Law Centre for help with this?

      Can be complicated and may need that extra bit of help to do it.

      Good Luck.


      • #4
        You can get backdated HOusing Benefit for up to 6 months, but you have to show 'good cause' as to why you didnt apply earlier.

        I doubt very much whether not supplying the information would count as a 'good cause' unless he could prove, for example, he was too ill to get there, was given information in a language he didnt understand, etc. And the Decision Maker will ask him to prove it, doctors evidence, etc,but if he was passed fit for work, which he was because he was on JSA not Employment and Support Allowance, its going to go against him.

        And yes, not signing on would lead to him being sanctioned and losing benefit.But you dont have to be on JSA to get HB, its based on a low income. So if by some some minor miracle a DM accepts his excuses he could claim for the whole period.
        ut he has to write and ask for it to be backdated, it wont be done automatically.


        • #5
          aside from all the LL v T issues here, i think what you have started to do for your T is great. and as one human being to another, well done you. it's not always all about the money

          Before acting on forum advice, you may wish to consult an expert, someone who has all the relevant facts, and who accepts liability for their advice.


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