Rent arrears and housing benefit

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    Rent arrears and housing benefit

    Our T should pay rent on 1st of the month. No rent for April, and as of today, May's is also due, and none forthcoming yet. Spoke with Letting Agent this morning, and as of Tuesday (bank hol in the way), he is going to contact Housing Benefit to say the T is 8 weeks behind.

    Do Housing Benefit pay the arrears? T is due to leave at end of May anyway, so will he just walk away owing 2 month's rent, or will HB pay us the 2 missing months and claim back any payments they have made to T in lieu of rent? I think this is fraud, if they are paying him and he doesn't pay us, but obviously thats for them to sort out.

    This arrangement of paying the T is so open to abuse, I don't know why they brought it in!

    #2
    Originally posted by LesleyAnne View Post
    Our T should pay rent on 1st of the month. No rent for April, and as of today, May's is also due, and none forthcoming yet. Spoke with Letting Agent this morning, and as of Tuesday (bank hol in the way), he is going to contact Housing Benefit to say the T is 8 weeks behind.

    Do Housing Benefit pay the arrears? T is due to leave at end of May anyway, so will he just walk away owing 2 month's rent, or will HB pay us the 2 missing months and claim back any payments they have made to T in lieu of rent? I think this is fraud, if they are paying him and he doesn't pay us, but obviously thats for them to sort out.

    This arrangement of paying the T is so open to abuse, I don't know why they brought it in!
    The authority do pay in arrears, so you will get any payments due to the tenant from early May. You will probably get a months payment in May and another payment up until the end of Ts tenancy. Housing benefit will not pay you any rent for any period that they have already paid the tenant. They have no obligation to do this because your contract is with the tenant, not them. Obviously, if T is on HB then the chances are they have no assets to make a court claim worthwhile, but if you have a guarantor, this is where they become involved. If you haven't, this is where you learn the importance of having one

    It is not regarded as fraud, in the same way many mothers don't spend child benefit on their children.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for reply. So long as we get something for May, that will be a bonus. To be honest this T be becoming a pain, so sooner he's out the better, so best cut our losses for April's payment.

      We have a month's rent in hand as a security deposit. I know this is not what it is intended for, but in these circumstances, would we be entitled to keep this in lieu of the missing month's rent?

      I see where you are coming from with the allowance not been fraud, but if a mother claimed child benefit but didn't have a child, that would be fraud. Surely claiming for rent that you have a commitment to pay, and then default on it, that is claiming money under false pretences?

      Comment


        #4
        If this is the tenancy you are refering to, please do not start multiple threads on same topic; continue with the existing thread that you originally started.

        Originally posted by LesleyAnne View Post
        Our T should pay rent on 1st of the month. No rent for April, and as of today, May's is also due, and none forthcoming yet. Spoke with Letting Agent this morning, and as of Tuesday (bank hol in the way), he is going to contact Housing Benefit to say the T is 8 weeks behind.
        The agent will only be able to discuss the HB claim if the claimant (tenant) has given his/her consent. HB Regulations 2006 state that the Local Authority (LA) should pay the LL direct after 8 weeks of rent arrears, however some LA's do this earlier and others need to be 'pushed' (Also, DWP guidance recently changed (Dec 2009)).

        Originally posted by LesleyAnne View Post
        Do Housing Benefit pay the arrears?
        The HB dept. will not pay rent arrears. They will only pay HB/LHA that's due for the period of the tenancy.

        Originally posted by LesleyAnne View Post
        T is due to leave at end of May anyway, so will he just walk away owing 2 month's rent...
        If T is employed or has assets, you can claim against T via the small claims track (if claim amount less than £5k).

        Originally posted by LesleyAnne View Post
        I think this is fraud, if they are paying him and he doesn't pay us, but obviously thats for them to sort out.
        It's not classed as benefit fraud. If a T receives LHA, they can spend it on whatever they wish to.

        Originally posted by LesleyAnne View Post
        This arrangement of paying the T is so open to abuse, I don't know why they brought it in!
        Has been discussed many times on this forum. Do a search for "LHA". I'd also suggest before letting to HB/LHA tenants, learn as much as you can about this sector, so you are prepared if things don't quite go to plan.
        The information in my posts is provided 'as is'. This is not intended to be legal advice. Legal or other professional advice should be sought before acting or relying on this information or any part of it. I will not be held responsible for loss or damage arising from errors in the information or the way in which a person uses the information on this . For more information on your query use the '' link at the top of this page. Agreements, Forms & Notices can be found .

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by LesleyAnne View Post
          We have a month's rent in hand as a security deposit. I know this is not what it is intended for, but in these circumstances, would we be entitled to keep this in lieu of the missing month's rent?
          If your tenancy agreement provides for the deposit to be used by you towards missing rent then you will have minimal problems with the deposit company.

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