Local Housing Allowance

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    Local Housing Allowance

    This is to be introduced in my area shortly, it is on trial in 'Pathfinder Authorities' at the moment. From reading the paperwork I have, I don't like it, my main objection is that Housing Benefit will be paid to tenants rather than landlords which I insist on now. I am aware that other landlords do the opposite but I feel safer having HB paid directly to me.
    Has anyone any experience of this new system? To me, it looks like it will effectively disallow HB claimants from many more properties and could end up driving rents down.

    #2
    There have been many previous posts about this, where it has been introduced,most landlords seem to have found it a disaster, it is being introduced in my area next spring, i dont want it, i would not think most of my tenants would want it, and in conversations with housing department officials it would seem they dont want it. But yet again central goverment want it, so we are having it.
    Opinions given are mine, They are not necessarily correct, as the more I learn the less I know, You should always seek professional help.

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      #3
      LHA was introduced in one of the areas we deal with in January. We own a block of 136 flats in that area of which about 70-80 flats are on HB. Before LHA was introduced we received a cheque from the council every 4 weeks for circa £25k. Now we have to spend an entire day every 4 weeks running around the block collecting that £25k which is sent direct to each tenant. We calculated in June that in the 6 months the scheme had been running we had lost £10k in rent. Some of that the tenants had eventually paid back. But you need to be prepared for the stories. We now have about 25 tenants which are paid direct to us again as these tenants have shown they are not capable of managing their finances and have previously spent their LHA cheques on everything from gambling to holidays in spain.

      Comment


        #4
        From gambling to holiday in spain???????
        How do you know that?

        Comment


          #5
          OK .. here's my tuppence worth .. being a tenant on HB.

          I'm looking at it from all sides here and I tend to go with the LL's view that if they decide to rent to HB tenants, they should have the right to INSIST that payment comes direct to them. Some (but by no means all) HB tenants can be extrmely irresponsible with money for a variety of reasons and yes, ATI, I have known of tenants who will use the money for holidays rather than rent!
          (Personally, I'd rather have somewhere to live for 52 weeks a year than two weeks in the sun, but hey! that's just me!)

          Bottom line is that this new procedure is weighted very heavily against LL's and one of the repurcussions that I can see happening is that many LL's who currently rent to HB claimants, will cease to do so and thereby put an unprecendented , and possibly incalculable, pressure on social housing, which is already creaking under existing pressure.

          I can't see any good coming from this at all. Perhaps we should all petition central Government, both as LL and tenants, to get it amended before the pilot scheme has a chance of becoming established in it's entirety?
          Any information or opinion given in this post is based only on my personal experience, what I have learned from this, other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person. E&OE

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by ATI View Post
            From gambling to holiday in spain???????
            How do you know that?
            One tenant told me he had been on holiday with his rent cheque as he'd never been abroad before and thought he'd see what it's like and the other told me he'd spent it all on a bet.

            The government say that the LHA is about giving the tenant the responsibility to manage their own finances however the laughable thing is that if you are a council tenant you don't get to have that responsibility!
            Last edited by settloe_99; 20-10-2006, 14:51 PM. Reason: Spelling Mistake

            Comment


              #7
              As a now "Council/HA" tenant I, peculiarly enough, still have that choice but then I'm not in an area where this is being piloted yet.

              Originally posted by settloe_99 View Post
              The government say that the LHA is about giving the tenant the responsibility to manage their own finances however the laughable thing is that if you are a council tenant you don't get to have that responsibility!
              Any information or opinion given in this post is based only on my personal experience, what I have learned from this, other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person. E&OE

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by pippay View Post
                Bottom line is that this new procedure is weighted very heavily against LL's and one of the repurcussions that I can see happening is that many LL's who currently rent to HB claimants, will cease to do so and thereby put an unprecendented , and possibly incalculable, pressure on social housing, which is already creaking under existing pressure.
                This is why I posted, I have had tenants who found excuses not to pay a small top up, I can easily see a scenario where they pay nothing, live free for around five months until I can get them out and then get rehoused by the local authority on compassionate grounds. I have a meeting with the local Housing Benefit people shortly where they are presenting this system. I will be putting several points to them, including the fact that I will be serving precautionary S21 notices to those tenants who do not already have them. I too can see enormous pressure on social housing and many landlords getting out of the business.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I personally want to see it made a criminal offence to use either housing benefit funds or local housing allowance for any purpose other than paying rent where money is owed by the tenant to the landlord.

                  Fortunately I am not yet affected - but if any tenant of mine receiving LHA in the future goes and blues it on booze or holidays or new cars etc and I have arrears, I will not rest until they have been prosecuted.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I coulldn't agree with you more. It's the likes of these people that give honest claimants a bad name and prevent them from gaining LL's trust.

                    Originally posted by davidjohnbutton View Post
                    I personally want to see it made a criminal offence to use either housing benefit funds or local housing allowance for any purpose other than paying rent where money is owed by the tenant to the landlord.

                    Fortunately I am not yet affected - but if any tenant of mine receiving LHA in the future goes and blues it on booze or holidays or new cars etc and I have arrears, I will not rest until they have been prosecuted.
                    Any information or opinion given in this post is based only on my personal experience, what I have learned from this, other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person. E&OE

                    Comment

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