Housing Benefit  4 weekly or monthly payment confusion

by Readers Question

15:24 PM, 7th April 2016
About 3 years ago

Housing Benefit 4 weekly or monthly payment confusion

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Housing Benefit  4 weekly or monthly payment confusion

Just had a quick question about how Housing Benefit is paid. I have two properties rented to the London Borough of Enfield at the 4 bed LHA rate. monthly

What I don’t understand is why for one property they pay me at the end of each month (i.e 12 payments per year) but the other property they’ve insisted on paying me every 4 weeks (so I end up with 13 payments per year).

I realise that annually it amounts to the same figure but I’d much prefer if both were paid at the end of each month. The council are being particularly difficult about this but I just wondered if anyone knows how the council decide on how they pay ?

Many thanks

Joel



Comments

Robert Mellors

9:36 AM, 9th April 2016
About 3 years ago

Hi Joel

Generally they pay every 4 weeks in arrears, but they can pay at different periods, which often happens during the early stages of a claim before it settles into a regular payment pattern. I cannot answer the question as to why LB Enfield are using different payment periods in relation to your particular claims, only they can answer that. Are these being paid direct to you? or to your tenants who then pass on the payment to you? If the latter, then one of the tenants may be topping up the HB payment up to the full contractual rent and then paying this to you (in which case it will "appear" that it is being paid pcm not 4 weekly). If it is being paid direct to you by the council then the HB statements you get should show the period that the HB payment covers.

HB Depts do have the ability to pay pcm (there is no legal restriction to this), but I've never managed to get any to agree to do so (I deal with eight local authority HB departments), as it disrupts their normal HB payment cycle which is based on 2 or 4 weeks (2 or 4 weeks if paid to tenant, 4 weeks if paid to landlords).

Joel Hearne

10:24 AM, 11th April 2016
About 3 years ago

Hello

I am receiving the payments directly on both properties. The interesting part is that the one that I get paid monthly I’ve been receiving this way for many years. For the other one that is 4 weekly, whenever I am on the phone to the HB department for some unrelated reason, I always seize the opportunity to ask if they can pay monthly but they consistently refuse saying just as you said, that it disrupts their normal HB payment cycle. I suppose I’ll just chalk it up as yet another one of the baffling inconsistent procedural quirks that we have to accept when dealing with Council HB departments ! Thanks.

Joel


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