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I have been renting to Housing Benefit tenants (HB) and have always had the rent paid to me even after the regulations changed in 2008 so that the benefit had to be paid to the tenant. As those who rent to HB will know, it was possible for the HB to be paid directly to the Landlord if the tenant was found to be vulnerable or in most cases if they came from a council. Following the introduction of the regulation a good number of landlords had given up renting to HB tenants due to problems in rent being passed on to Landlords and tenants falling into arrears.
As the number of Landlords taking on HB tenants had become relatively scarce and it had become very difficult for tenants to find landlords that took HB, a further regulation was introduced as below:
The Housing Benefit (Amendment) Regulations 2010 includes a regulation where Housing Benefit may be paid directly to the landlord. This additional clause (iv) that has been added to Regulation 96(3A)(b) is detailed below:
(iv) the relevant authority considers that it will assist the claimant in securing or retaining a tenancy
Following the above clause, I have always been able to have HB tenants’ rents paid directly to me by including a clause in the tenancy agreement stating that it was a condition of the tenancy that the HB was paid directly to the landlord, and a letter to the HB department signed by the tenant pointing out the regulation and requesting the rent to be paid directly to the Landlord.
Universal Credit has now very recently been introduced to the council where I rent out properties and already the only two unconnected tenants on universal credit who are renting two different properties are in arrears.
I would like to know if anyone knows of any regulation similar to that I have quoted above which could be applied to Universal Credit so that rent is paid directly to the landlord (I am aware of the regulation where rent may be paid to the Landlord if requested if the tenant is more than two months in arrears).
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