09 Mar 2015

A question about : Housing benefit tenants not forwarding rent to LL


We find ourselves in this situation. The dss tenant in our property is not forwarding rent to us that they receive from the council.

What are our options in dealing with this tenant?

Many thanks.

Best answers:

  • How far in arrears are they?
    if the LL receives the payment direct and it subsequently turns out the the tenant has overclaimed HB (eg through fraud) then the council will recover the money direct from the LL and he has no defence against this. The LL will then be left on his own to sue a tenant who has no money to start with. Receiving the rent direct is not without its own risks!
    HB Payments direct to the landlord [HB Regs 95-96]
    The council may pay your rent allowance direct to your landlord if you ask for or agree to this. The council may also make payments directly to your landlord without your permission if:
  • it thinks that it would be in your best interest to do so
  • or you have left your home and there are rent arrears (the arrears can then also be paid directly to the landlord).
  • If you have rent arrears of 8 weeks or more the council must pay your rent allowance directly to your landlord.
    The council may also refuse or terminate direct payments where it considers that your landlord is not 'fit and proper' to receive such payments.
    Payment of Local Housing Allowance
    If a tenant receives Local Housing Allowance they are no longer able to choose to have payment made to the landlord. However, if the local authority thinks the tenant is unlikley to pay the rent or is unable to cope with this responsibility, they can make payment to the landlord. As now, payment will be made to the landlord if the tenant has built up eight weeks of arrears.