What happens next if Tenants now start to claim Housing Benefit?

What happens next if Tenants now start to claim Housing Benefit?

10:59 AM, 18th January 2017, About 5 years ago 51

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I’m currently experiencing a situation that is new to me and would appreciate some good advice. My tenants are expecting their first child and have recently lost their jobs. housing benefit

They told me in advance that they wouldn’t be able to pay this month’s rent and have made a claim for housing benefit.

While I am wholly sympathetic to their situation I am also highly leveraged against the property. I do not want to burden them with any more stress, but I do need some answers.

Could any experienced landlords give me some advice on what to do next or what procedures to follow?

Many thanks in advance

John



Comments

by Gary Dully

13:41 PM, 19th January 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Pru Counsell" at "19/01/2017 - 10:24":

Hmm Pru,

I'm disgusted with my language and tone as well Pru, but John says he can't afford their arrears.

Perhaps you can. Write him a cheque for 3 months rent and let him pay you back when their backdated payments come through.

Hmm not as appealing a thought now is it?

I used to be like you Pru,
I even have leaflets and pamphlets for tenants in difficulty, but you may as well burn them, because John is about to be bankrupt himself with sentimental thought processes that we all go through.

If his tenants really cared they would have already have a claim in process, but I would bet a fiver that they haven't even filled a form out yet.

To prove it, ask for the claim reference number!

They simply don't care, because their life is sh*t and in their eyes their landlord is the richest person they currently know.

What circumstances on his tenancy agreement says if you are unemployed you are entitled to skip paying rent and bankrupting your landlord is permissible?

That's right it doesn't.

Regardless of my tone, John will lose thousands whether or not he evicts now or under grounds 8.

So as he's paying for his own heart attack, let his tenants feel some heat.

Seems perfectly fair to me.

by Gary Dully

14:04 PM, 19th January 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Harry Chunk" at "19/01/2017 - 10:00":

I'm not hard nosed Harry,

That's my problem, (apparently),
my partner says I'm too soft with tenants and calls me bumblie bee.

She however has a Masters Degree, teaches private tuition and has a 3 cleaning jobs for survival.

Her sympathy for benefit claimants is about 3-4 weeks, after which she thinks they should be sewn up at both ends and fed through a straw until they either get a job or burst.

We live in Birkenhead, where rent is low on the priority list with a fair few benefit tenants in the same street.
They have very nice cars and know the system inside out.

I have my own PCOL login and quite a few evictions under my belt, I hate doing it, but I view it as my duty to save my sanity.

I'm a big daft pussycat, until I smell a rat!

by Mrs Property

14:47 PM, 19th January 2017, About 5 years ago

Hi John, One further factor that no-one has mentioned is whether the tenants moving onto benefits could be perceived as a breach of your mortgage lender's conditions? DSS beneficiaries are excluded from ours. When one (non-DSS) family who had been regular payers for 3 years became refugees and then had to apply for benefits, I made sure to write to the lender to notify them of the change of circumstance. The lender did not reply, but I have a read receipt for the email so consider myself covered. The refugees were good to their word, caught up with the arrears that had accrued for a couple of months during the hiatus of the benefits application, and a year later they continue to be good tenants. It was a risk for us and we have had other tenants who've seemed very nice and then told bare faced lies, but you need to use your own judgement as to whom to trust. Good luck.

by Sarah Hibbert

2:19 AM, 20th January 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Pru Counsell" at "19/01/2017 - 10:24":

I am too, as I am a tenant that is on housing benefit, due to being unable to work for health reason's. I have always paid my rent on time. You can ask the tenants to request that the rent is paid directly to you from the council.

by john glynn

7:43 AM, 20th January 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mrs Property" at "19/01/2017 - 14:47":

Many thanks for the advice.

by john glynn

7:44 AM, 20th January 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Sarah Hibbert" at "20/01/2017 - 02:19":

Thank you Sarah. I wish more people were as honest as you.

by Gary Dully

1:36 AM, 21st January 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Sarah Hibbert" at "20/01/2017 - 02:19":

Oh no Sarah, we nasty, disgusting landlords are at fault again are we?

So not so fast, you have offered your opinion, which is fine, so now it's my turn.

I have some tenants rent paid to me directly from councils also.
I hate it, because the system is a complete con and makes me avoid any brown envelopes on my hallway carpet.

We have all used direct payments at some point, but Sarah, the problematic tenants on benefits sooner or later end up being sanctioned, at which point the landlords can be crippled with the same sanction.

When that happens, do you know what happens to the landlords business?

I doubt that you do, because your suggestion that the solution to a defaulting tenant is direct payment to the landlord, would be valid,if the system wasn't rigged against the landlord in the first place.

What happens is that the landlord gets a brown envelope and in it is a letter,which rips apart the souls of sentimental landlords.

It contains a demand for payment for whatever the council calculates they should get back, from the tenants.

But as the Data Protection Act is used as a weapon against the landlord, we cannot defend ourselves and put up a fight, because the councils won't disclose anything that is useful.

The result is that they have to pay the council back, until it gets sorted out, but 8 times out of 10 it never is.

When it's a small figure of a couple of hundred pounds, you can absorb the cost.
But when it's £1000+, the councils have one simple approach and one target and it isn't ever the tenants.

So just imagine that you went to a cash machine and it dispensed your money out in cash.

Then 7 months later you had to pay it back to the bank when it was discovered that the money notes you were given were dispensed from a criminal activity,that somebody else had committed.

Would that be fair?

Now would it be fair if your landlord had to, because you had given him the cash straight from the cash machine?

Who should pay?

Why would anybody say it's your landlords fault? - they simply wanted their lawfully due rent, they didn't want to be a cash dispenser for the council.

Well strangely enough, the law says that the landlord has to pay!!!!

That is just one of the many reasons why Landlords run a mile from benefit tenants and have in their adverts "No LHA, HB, JSA, UC or Benefit Tenants", we have nothing against the tenants, it isn't their fault as they didn't design the system.

But some wanker did and it wasn't a landlord.

In regards to direct payment, it's the equivalent of farming four leaf clovers for a living, getting an outbreak of fungus just before farming day and one leaf falls off each clover.

You are then left just with a load of dirt you can't pay for.

However, in regards to this post, if you recall,the tenants have said they are not going to pay this month, they have a baby coming and they are going to "start" a claim.

Are you seriously defending their position?

You actually have something to offer your landlord in return for the asett he or she has purchased and handed you legal possession of.
What's your home valued at in your area?
Maybe it's £100,000 or more, who knows?

How does the landlord pay for that asett, if there is no rent coming in?

Your asset isn't you, it's your monetary value.

If you mess it up, you have no value to any anybody except a socialist politician.

The tenants in this post are not in your position, it would be great if they were.

They haven't, they are spent up after XMAS, put each other in the family way and have diddly squat to offer and haven't even got off their backsides to try and safeguard their home with the free money dispenser called UC or LHA.

What if they don't get accepted?
What if they don't qualify?
What if there is a claim delay of 8-12 weeks
What if they get UC and receive direct payment and tell the landlord their claim is delayed and it isn't?
What if they get sanctioned?

Well I think you will find that their landlord will not be as rich as you or they think he is.

So who will pay his Buy To Let Mortgage interest payments?
Who will pay his tenant tax Section 24 from April 6th?
Who will pay for his buildings insurance?
Who will pay for any repairs?
Who will pay him a wage if he's a full time landlord?
What if the landlord becomes ill like you are and can't work?

The answer is NOBODY.

Try going to Aldi, Tesco, Asda or any other shop and get your food that way and there's a couple of security guards who will put the contents of the trolley back on the shelf for you as they leave a dust print of a size 11 shoe on your arse.

You are trying to rationalise what would be called theft in any other business or industry.

The use of food banks are criticised. How quaint!
It's demeaning apparently, I would probably agree, but at least they exist and have been paid for by someone in a position to pay for them.

Maybe we should have petrol, diesel and car banks as well, when people object to the cost of motoring.

People are given free food and then whinge about it!
It's FREE for F Sake!

Everyone else has to pay we don't qualify for it.

This World runs on money, sorry if you think it's on sentiment, but my bank manager and supermarket say they want paying.

Those tenants deserve evicting because they are taking the piss.

At least you made the effort to get what you are legally entitled to.

At the time of the post, they hadn't even bothered.

by Thom Hill

13:29 PM, 21st January 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Gary Dully" at "21/01/2017 - 01:36":

I think all Sarah intended to say was that she objected to being described as some sort of scumbag by association. You did after all call her a "lying, conniving tenant who can’t get of their backside and get a part-time cleaning job to pay towards the bills". I'm not sure her brief reply to that merits a 1000 word rant in response. I'm fairly sure no one even mentioned food banks.

Incidentally the idea that the tenants in this thread haven't claimed HB is something you have invented for yourself. The post says that they have claimed. All that we know is that the council has not yet discussed the case with John; which is unsurprising given that he has only sent them one polite email.

by Jonathan Clarke

18:32 PM, 21st January 2017, About 5 years ago

I do a lot of LHA. The system is frustrating yes and the government is slow yes but in fact they are a very good payer. 95% of mine get paid direct. It gives me control and yes they come after you sometimes for overpayments but they try it on as we are an easy target but they are so often wrong . So I challenge and they go away .

I have a good link in with the councils landlord liaison officer who helps smooth the dialogue. But yes it takes time and with a target 10 day turnaround of e mails for my council it can be exasperating at how slow they work. So my contingency fund is crucial here so the cash flow is maintained. I just got a back pay today of 3 mths rent now they have finally sorted it . I understand that many would not want that uncertainty.

Tenant selection though is key to much of this. A working tenant can get a P45 and become LHA within 24hrs and vice versa so whilst its fashionable to perhaps stereotype LHA tenants as bad dudes this often masks the blaming of the person who actually selected the tenant in the first place.

If one has a trouble with an LHA tenant or a working tenant look to the person who selected that tenant and the fault can often be found there. Its too easy to blame the source of the rent for a business failure.

Tenants personality do not change overnight just because they become LHA or because they start off as LHA. Some LHA tenants are great some are rubbish . Some working tenants are great some are rubbish. I aim to select the good tenants not the rubbish ones. That`s down to my own people skills. Tenants also should aim to select a good landlord not a rubbish one. Its a two way thing

So sorry Sarah and Pru for the way you have been attacked . You didn`t deserve that

John - if the tenants are good people they will want it sorted as much as you. Just keep on top of it . This will test your management skills as you will now by default experience and learn about another side of your business. Managing LHA systems is more intensive at the set up stage but its all doable and can have good rewards as an investment strategy.
More so in the past than now though it has to be said

Good Luck

by Gary Dully

20:27 PM, 21st January 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jonathan Clarke" at "21/01/2017 - 18:32":

I agree with you Jonathan, to a point.

If it's genuine, fair enough, but come on, a benefits bill of £billions?

It has to be tackled, sooner or later.

This thread started with a landlord, who was inexperienced, has no surplus funds to spare and wanted advice.

You indicate that you have a contingency fund and can handle LHA difficulties, congratulations for that.

However, you know as well as I do, what built in inertia LHA tenants have and you also know the substantial risks of accepting Direct Payments from the council can have when it goes wrong.

When they ask for all or part of a claim back, it's absolutely devastating and the actual benefit claimants never have to deal with the consequences in the vast majority of cases, because they have no asset. At best they will contribute a small percentage.

Last year alone, I had over 7 clawbacks to deal with in Leicester, resulting in me having to pay back over £2400.

My wife was beside herself with rage on how we had to pay it back, and write it off, whilst at the same time paying for the existing expenses, that as landlords, we all face.

The result has been that we are removing all our benefit claimants as fast as we can from our portfolio, because they are too risky now to contemplate.

I accept that some people can never work a full time occupation, but that doesn't mean they can't do something.

If they anyone can write on this blog, they can do Facebook marketing, after training or offer something on Fiverr of Upwork.

If they can walk,they can replace the vinyl white lines on our roads.

I'm never going to accept that they are incapable, because they are either lying or someone has cut off their arms at the elbow.

My youngest son has severe communication problems due to autism, but he doesn't sit on his backside, because we won't let him.
He works a few days a week in a cafe washing dishes for bugger all money and is in a Duke of Edinburgh training scheme on the other days.

He gets limited DLA, I have no problem with that, he contributes as best he can.

I have had 5 heart bypasses and I still work, despite sounding like a sex pest on the phone after two flights of stairs.

What I do have a problem with is the ladies and gentlemen of our parish, who have figured out how to deal with a free benefits system, have managed to acquire a drug habit, drive a new car every 3 years, go on holiday, get up at 2pm each day and go to bo Bo's at 2.30pm in the morning.

They have now retired from work and will never work again, unless it's cash in hand and not declared.

They even ask me for any decorating work for cash and offer different items for sale that have a 5 finger discounts from local high street shops.

Some, by smoking skunk and crack, now get paid for hearing voices as well.
They even pay money now for bipolar and paranoid schizophrenic reactions to smoking drugs.

The really smart ones officially split up and get two houses, claim for LHA on each and then move back in together and sublet the other one to a few Romanians or Polish workers in the area.

They have a free paid for house, a permanent bed in maternity booked every 15 months for their latest arrival, a benefits claim handbook and the latest in anything electronic.

What a wonderful bunch of entrepreneurs they all appear to be.

A rant it may be, but seeing is believing.


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