How to make HB/LHA cover arrears (eight week rule)?

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    How to make HB/LHA cover arrears (eight week rule)?

    Hi I wonder if anyone can help?

    I shall try to be as brief as possible but as I am still shaking with rage whilst writing this,I do apologise.

    +Our tenant is in rent arrears of GBP5000.00 and will be evicted next week, after going through all of the correct channels and the horredousously long process! She is very cunning and has been aware of the whole process suggesting that she has done this before. She has been claiming housing benefit since March and has not passed on a penny to us, we have been in touch with the council to advise them to pay us direct but this is a lengthy process and we still haven't seen any money - she had it redirected to someone else which maybe they thought was the landlord but seen as they don't CHECK anything they are not to know. We know that they are not paying her as we have given them proof that she is more than 8 weeks in arrears so they have stopped her payments.
    We have contacted the gas/water/electric companies as the bills were all in her name when she took over the property but she called them back in Aug claiming to be the landlord and advise them that the tenant had moved out. She has also called our solicitor, saying that she was a judge for the court asking if we had the proper possesion order in place!!!!
    With all of this that this tenant has done, we have found out that the council has given her accomodation AGAIN!!!!!
    I guess m y question is that why are they prepared to house someone that has committed fraud. If they are willing to pay rent for her again can we not get some money back from the council towards our arrears, we have been to court to get them from her but as she is not working I doubt we will ever see them.
    We have issued her a CCJ and I guess I don't want another landlord to suffer at her hands and also mad that my tax paying money is helping her out again.

    Thanks and any advice would be helpful.

    #2
    "They" -the Council- have a legal duty to house the involuntarily homeless. No-one really wants them on the streets, do they?
    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
      "They" -the Council- have a legal duty to house the involuntarily homeless. No-one really wants them on the streets, do they?
      Not paying the rent, which has been given to her by the Council in the first place for that express purpose, is not involuntary homelessness, it's theft!
      The sooner some of these no-hopers do jail time the better.
      I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by jta View Post
        Not paying the rent, which has been given to her by the Council in the first place for that express purpose, is not involuntary homelessness, it's theft!
        The sooner some of these no-hopers do jail time the better.
        Whether it's the Council or HM Prisons, we taxpayers are still funding their accommodation!
        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

        Comment


          #5
          That is true Jeffrey but I would rather see them sewing mailbags than driving another LL into bankruptcy!
          Why do the powers-that-be turn a blind eye to this sort of behavior? There seems to be such an undercurrent of petty crime happening, it rather spoils things for everybody.
          I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jta View Post
            That is true Jeffrey but I would rather see them sewing mailbags than driving another LL into bankruptcy!
            Why do the powers-that-be turn a blind eye to this sort of behavior? There seems to be such an undercurrent of petty crime happening, it rather spoils things for everybody.
            All true, of course. Best remedy: subject to anti-fraud mechanisms, all HB/LHA payable on account of rent should be paid ONLY to the party entitled to receive the rent in question. The Benefit/Allowance claimant should never receive such funds personally.
            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks guys, I have been onto my local MP to see why the law does allow the benefit to be paid to someone other than the landlord and he has written to Hazel Blears MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (in his words) asking for a full rationale behind the prevailing illogical and warped methodology of administering housing benefit.

              Comment


                #8
                The exact same thing happened to me, I had a nightmare tenant, after starting eviction I received a questionnaire from council, I stated the facts which were: high arrears, damage to property, noisy, complaints from neighbours and taking and dealing drugs. They rehoused her in a brand new flat.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by frednick View Post
                  They rehoused her in a brand new flat.
                  Rehoused in council or housing association accommodation? No problem - they have HB paid direct!!!!
                  Mrs Jones
                  I am not an expert - my posts are my opinion and should not be taken as fact!!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Hi Sully

                    The Local Authority should not be re-housing as she has made herself homelesss. She should be deemed as Intentionaly Homeless as she caused the rent arrears herself, thus making you take legal action, so it is NOT involantary homelessness.

                    Yes the council have a legal duty to house her but in her case it should only be for a temporary measure i.e 30 days until the full facts have come to light i.e court order etc.

                    Pls clarify this with the LA, not that it will do you much good, but like you say it is Taxayers money and she will def do it to her next LL.

                    Its a really shame these housing ministers don't have a clue, why on Earth would you get LHA paid direct to T, at a time when they need prvt LL's the most, beyonf belief.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Also it is very true that tenants in Council & HA homes have there rent paid direct to LL or LA, now I wonder why that it is. It seems to be one rule for the corporates and another for Joe Bloggs LL !!! Crazy but true !

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Can't the Council do something about the payments they made to the 'fraudlent' landlord and why are they taking so long in giving you the rest of the payments? Isn't there a time frame for them to investigate this?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          The above case reinforces my belief that the laws favour the tenant ! Especially the seasoned council tenant who knows the ropes, and that no matter what she does, she will not be held accountable, and new accommodation will be found for her (where she will no doubt continue to manipulate the system). I can well understand why so many ads offering flats, rooms etc. state NO DSS !

                          Comment


                            #14
                            update

                            Hi all, finally got flat back today....hoorah....
                            Tenant has left with lots of things like all of the kitchen untensils, plates etc, hoover, breakfast stools ...the list goes on. She has left the palce ina right mess, repainted the front room black, put up black black out blinds, had the heating cranked right up, found bags of compost in with the bolier and the airing cupboard....make of that what you will....but I don't think that the plants she was growing was for outdoor use!!!
                            The council ARE REHOUSING HER but will only pay the next landlord direct, why oh why oh why I don't know....she did leave alot of documents without shredding them and it turns out she is on benefits for depression. I wonder if that would work for me as what she has put us through is sheer hell.
                            We also found lots of credit cards demands dating back to last year so we are wondering how she past the credit check that we did on her. Does anyone think that we have a leg to stand on with them as her credit rating must really be bad with the amount she owes?
                            Thanks for reading this and I have found this site invaluable.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              LHA paid to Landlord if rent arrears > eight weeks'

                              It is not a rarity for some councils to take the view that paying landlords direct when rent is more than eight weeks in arrears is at their discretion, and they can continue to pay the tenant if the tenant so requests.

                              This is wrong. In the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 [SI 213/2006], look for the word "shall" below. This is not "might", or "may", it is "shall". Shall means that they must - unless some quite restrictive elements apply.

                              Here is the relevant regulation (I quote verbatim 95(1) plus sub-paragraph (b) in any arrears letters to the council, just so they know that I know):
                              Circumstances in which payment is to be made to a landlord

                              95.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2) and paragraph 8(4) of Schedule A1(a) (treatment of claims for housing benefit by refugees), a payment of rent allowance shall be made to a landlord (and in this regulation the “landlord” includes a person to whom rent is payable by the person entitled to that allowance)—
                              (a) where under Regulations made under the Administration Act an amount of income support or a jobseeker’s allowance payable to the claimant or his partner is being paid direct to the landlord; or
                              (b) where sub-paragraph (a) does not apply and the person is in arrears of an amount equivalent to 8 weeks or more of the amount he is liable to pay his landlord as rent, except where it is in the overriding interest of the claimant not to make direct payments to the landlord.
                              (2) Any payment of rent allowance made to a landlord pursuant to this regulation or to regulation 96 (circumstances in which payment may be made to a landlord) shall be to discharge, in whole or in part, the liability of the claimant to pay rent to that landlord in respect of the dwelling concerned, except in so far as—
                              (a) the claimant had no entitlement to the whole or part of that rent allowance so paid to his landlord; and
                              (b) the overpayment of rent allowance resulting was recovered in whole or in part from that landlord.
                              (3) Where the relevant authority is not satisfied that the landlord is a fit and proper person to be the recipient of a payment of rent allowance no such payment shall be made direct to him under paragraph (1).
                              Where there are any arrears of HB due to the tenant not paying over money they have received, notify the council anyway even if well below eight weeks arrears. Write again when near eight weeks arrears giving the day when this regulation comes into play. Write again once the rent is eight weeks in arrears. By doing this you have given the council every opportunity to get it right - if they continue paying the tenant then they have to justify it, or pay compensation.

                              As an aside, for the pendants amongst us, notice in regulation 95(1)(b) where "8 weeks" is used, whereby "eight weeks" would be more elegant and correct.
                              On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Because of the number of posts I have done, I am now a Senior Member. However, read anything I write with the above in mind.

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