Rent unpaid for 14 months - £11,000 arrears, T on benefits

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    no, i didn't approach the council as we did not know T was claiming HB.


      ALWAYS write to the council to request HB payments be paid direct. This is the gist of the letter I send:

      Dear Sir/Madam,

      Re: Tenancy of xxxx, xxxxx - Mr xxx xxxxx

      We have a tenant of the above property who we are aware is claiming housing benefit. The tenant is now more than two months in arrears.

      In line with the safeguarding payment rules, please make any future housing benefit payments to me under landlord reference xxxxx [if you are set up as a landlord].

      Attached is a statement of account for this tenant showing rent received and arrears greater than two months.

      If you have any questions, please etc etc.


      Landlord, of xxxxxxxxxx

      Crucially, do this even if YOU DO NOT KNOW there are housing benefit payments involved. The council will be sure to tell you if you are not and you have nothing to lose (well, apart from a 41p first class stamp).

      We did this recently in exactly the same scenario - the tenant had paid no rent whatsoever (possible "professional" tenant) and we wrote to the council. We should be receiving our first payment of approx £500 today!

      An agent I know does a very similar thing, but with a twist - he does it at the four week/one month rent arrears stage, as our council is trying to be proactive in safeguarding rent - if you tell them early enough BEFORE the 8 weeks/two month arrears point they will make direct payments immediately after the 8 weeks/two months have passed.

      Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't - the lesson is, you have nothing to lose and direct payments to gain.
      Liability statement. My liability to you is not to exceed the amount you are paying for my recommendations or advice.

      I see a bright new future, where chickens can cross the road with no fear of having their motives questioned


        The council has paid the rent (albeit direct to tenant) and thats where that ends.

        The tenant is in receiept of benefits so even if you do find him he isnt going to have assets you can take.

        The tenant is untraceable - this is going to cost even more (unrecoverable) money to find him.

        The tenant does not work so an attachment of earnings order is a mute point.

        As the tenant recieves benefits the most you can hope for is £1 or maybe £2 a month
        through a court.

        Put a CCJ on him and write it off. Its painful, but thats the sad truth.

        Learn from your mistakes and move on.


          been there seen it done and got the t shirt!!. The problem is that the HB people hands are legal tied into what they can or cannot do. Following a recent case within our company it was established that whilst the tenant can legally apply for HB he is under no LEGAL obligation whatsoever to pay it to you. Critically we established that the fact that he did not pay it to us is not "obtaining money by deception" from HB!! The only thing that HB can do is to suspend and red flag the T for any further claims.(They cannot reclaim back on the basis that he did not pay you only on the basis of overpayment/non entitlement) However that "red flag" does not work on a national scale (JSA does!!) So miscreant T merely has to move to another area and he can immediately go through the same routine again becuase he will remain undetected.

          Agree with many other posts that LL must check and double check and at the first sign of non payment or late payment from in particular an HB claimant(usually a one of the standard excuses from the given list of 100!!) My advice would be to turn on the search light and issue protective notices (S21 etc) at the first available legal point to protect your company.


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