Transferring rents from letting agent to landlord

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    Transferring rents from letting agent to landlord

    OK, I'm asking this question on behalf of my sister, so I'll do my best to explain...
    My sister has 3 properties, which she employs a letting agent to take care of (collecting rent, liaising with tennants about repairs etc). The letting agent isn't doing as well as she had hoped, so she is thinking about getting rid of him and doing all of this herself.
    The tennants in each property claim housing benefit, which is paid to the letting agent. From what I've heard, it's not exactly a simple process to have the rents transferred from the letting agent to the landlord. Is this process really difficult? And if so/not, how does she go about it?

    Thanks in advance!

    #2
    No, it is simple as long as the landlord has copies of the tenancy agreements naming them as the landlord.

    If it doesn't, then it can still be done, but may take a little longer. The housing benefit payments can be suspended(they will simply build up)whilst it is being sorted out.
    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

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      #3
      Thanks for your answer. I now have a bit more information on the situation.

      From what I'm told, housing benefit is, by law, not paid directly to the letting agent or landlord but is paid to the tennant who is then responsible for paying the letting agent/landlord. This is unless there are special circumstances (the tennant has a drink/drug problem etc). Is this correct? and if so, is there any other way to have the rent paid directly to the landlord?
      Thanks

      Comment


        #4
        LHA is always paid direct to the tenant - except : if Tenancy is really old, Tenant is more than 8 Weeks in Arrears, Tenant is Disabled, Tenant has history of not paying rent, Tenant has substance abuse issues.

        So generally speaking, go speak to the tenant and ask how they are paid and if paid to them. Ask them to amend their Standing Order to your sisters bank account.
        Bearing in mind though that LHA payment wont meet your rent, so tenant will also be paying a top up. (Generally Speaking).

        Your sister probably signed an agreement with the Letting Agency for their services they will charge probably 10% of the rent. So I imagine once you bypass them, they will calculate the 10% until the end of the agreement and bill your sister. Therefore your sister will be "paying" for services she no longer has from the Letting Agent as she broke the agreement. Unless you can prove (if it comes down to it) in court that "isn't doing as well as she had hoped" is grounds for you to terminate contact.

        P.S. Changing bank account is the easy part, make sure you record the payments are on top of it with detailed records.

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          #5
          the case with this is that the rents are paid, for various reasons, directly to the letting agent. the point im wondering about is how difficult is it to transfer the rents from being paid to him, to being paid to my sister?

          Comment


            #6
            Her first step should be to look at the terms and conditions of the contract she signed with the agents. Some agents will tie the LL into paying commission for the duration of the tenancy they put in place. They may also want a cancellation fee for pulling out of the management deal.

            As for HB, I've not done this before myself (have always had HB tenantns and all but 1 have always paid me themselves), but you should be able to contact the HB department and give your alternative contact details for the payments to come to you. Does your sister have current tenancy agreements for all tenants?

            Also, she must find out about tenant's deposits if they paid them at the start. No doubt agent (should have) protected them in a scheme. She will need to get the deposit accounts transferred to her, or the monies released and re-protected in her name. LL is ultimately responsible for the tenant's deposit return, so if she does not get the funds back fromt he agent now, tenant can sue her for the deposit return at the end of the tenancy.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by rayoliver View Post
              the case with this is that the rents are paid, for various reasons, directly to the letting agent. the point im wondering about is how difficult is it to transfer the rents from being paid to him, to being paid to my sister?
              If the contracts are in your sisters name then all she has to do is write to the tenants and tell them that "Letts Rip-U-Off" are no longer acting as her agent and that future rent should be paid to her (perhaps include a standing order template). A sentence along the lines of 'any payments made to LRUO after date X may not be credited to your rent account' just protects her from can't be a**d syndrome.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by YesAdam View Post
                LHA is always paid direct to the tenant - except : if Tenancy is really old, Tenant is more than 8 Weeks in Arrears, Tenant is Disabled, Tenant has history of not paying rent, Tenant has substance abuse issues.
                This is incorrect. The old rules were like this, but even then it was easy enough to get direct payment.


                Originally posted by rayoliver View Post
                the case with this is that the rents are paid, for various reasons, directly to the letting agent. the point im wondering about is how difficult is it to transfer the rents from being paid to him, to being paid to my sister?
                Does your sister have the tenancy agreements?

                Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                If the contracts are in your sisters name then all she has to do is write to the tenants and tell them that "Letts Rip-U-Off" are no longer acting as her agent and that future rent should be paid to her (perhaps include a standing order template). A sentence along the lines of 'any payments made to LRUO after date X may not be credited to your rent account' just protects her from can't be a**d syndrome.
                This would not work, as the OP has stated that the payments are going direct from HB to the letting agent.
                Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by thesaint View Post
                  This would not work, as the OP has stated that the payments are going direct from HB to the letting agent.
                  It is not clear whether money currently goes

                  Authority > Agent > Landlord or
                  Authority > Tenant > Agent > Landlord

                  In post 3 OP seems to state that the first of those options is not the case. I agree, he does keep refering to the rent being paid to the agent - but he doesn't say by whom

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by thesaint View Post
                    This is incorrect. The old rules were like this, but even then it was easy enough to get direct payment.
                    What is wrong? I notice i missed out that if LL lowers the rent or Tenancy only granted if paid direct as a condition. These conditions are hardly used in my experience.

                    Originally posted by rayoliver View Post
                    the case with this is that the rents are paid, for various reasons, directly to the letting agent. the point im wondering about is how difficult is it to transfer the rents from being paid to him, to being paid to my sister?
                    IF paid direct to Letting Agent by Tenant, Ask tenant to ammend standing order. A nice letter saying agent X is no longer acting.
                    IF paid direct to Letting Agent by Council, Write to Benefits Department they will most likely suspend the claim (they like doing that) then change payment to your sister. (Be nice to inform Tenant of change of circumstances also, in this event.)

                    Comment

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