How do I protect myself?

by Readers Question

9:18 AM, 20th November 2019
About 10 months ago

How do I protect myself?

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How do I protect myself?

The Council are willing to pay the first months rent in advance and pay a cash deposit for an incoming tenant. I will NOT be issuing a tenancy agreement until I see clear evidence that:

1. Tenant has an existing HB claim with claim number
2. It has been agreed that rents payments will come to me direct
3. That she has given permission that I can talk to Housing Dept direct if an issue comes up with her claim/payment.

I am happy to giver her a ‘letter of intent’ that shows I am willing to take her on, listing details of the flat etc.

How do I further protect myself if the claim comes back and she is not paid the full rent for a two bed which is what she has been ‘approved’ by the Council to be entitled to?

I understand a change of address to an existing claim does not take as long as a full claim to set up, but what happens if this goes past the next rent payment is due?

Reluctant



Comments

Neil Patterson

9:21 AM, 20th November 2019
About 10 months ago

If the payments are coming to you and you need belt and braces the only other option I can think of is a guarantor.

Robert Mellors

9:57 AM, 20th November 2019
About 10 months ago

It won't be paid by Housing Benefit, even if the tenant is on this at the moment, as the change in circumstances (change of address) will mean that she has to claim Universal Credit (UC). In most circumstances the Housing Element of UC will be paid to the tenant, not direct to you. If your tenant has 8 weeks rent arrears, then you can apply for the UC payments to be made to you, using form UC47, but these are often ignored by UC Teams, so payments continue to go to the tenant. UC Teams will not talk to you, they will not accept correspondence from you, they will only talk to the UC claimant (and quite often they will only do this via the claimant's "online journal").

In terms of protecting yourself, the only option is as Neil says, getting a home owning employed, rent (and damage) guarantor (who passes all the referencing etc). - If you can get multiple guarantors, even better!

11:12 AM, 20th November 2019
About 10 months ago

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11:24 AM, 20th November 2019
About 10 months ago

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Mick Roberts

7:39 AM, 21st November 2019
About 10 months ago

The Council (Which one cause u haven't said? Don't be vague with very important information like that on here, as some Landlord may know tons about that Council. Nottingham Council, certain dept's, are useless, but the Homeless section give their word on the Rent up front Part) do generally stick to their word on the deposit etc. They desperate to stop paying £400pw for an hotel for one family.

Forget your permission. As my good colleague Rob says, may go on UC, & You have more chance of talking to Mars Astronauts that anyone human in UC.
And Rob, we know quite often UC won't talk to the tenant ha ha.

Check the UC rates in your area. Again vagueness hasn't helped u here.

Disabled tenant knows their stuff. Rob & Neil, I'm gonna email u the secret document DWP & Job Centres & UC don't want us to have. The sheet that gives u all the reasons whether have to claim UC or not. Job Centres won't tell u, u have a choice sometimes.

7:58 AM, 21st November 2019
About 10 months ago

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WP

8:35 AM, 21st November 2019
About 10 months ago

The Council is Torbay. In many if not all cases where tenants come to me (not just this lady in question) chance of getting a guarantor (family or friend to act as one) is zero for many reasons mostly as they don't have jobs or security either. Council are ok in RIA and Deposit Bonds and to date they have never NOT paid the full Bond back. The issues comes that the Bond/deposit can only be 5 weeks rent. Issue comes in month two when rent is due and the tenant has not even started a claim for HB or UC. Even if they do then it doesn't get paid to me direct despite me asking them to ensure it is from the moment they claim. (and me asking via UC47 for direct payment from the outset) At that point the Council cant help as that person is housed so say its is between me and them and, and I am stuck as can't start any proceedings for first 6 months of a contract. My one beds are £450 pcm and 2 beds £550 pcm so right on the nail for full benefit if the tenant is entitled.
Private, working tenants do not exist down here!

Thanks Disabled Tenant - I'll look at the rent guarantor bit you highlight. I even approached the Council to ask for two months RIA to cover the additional second month if the tenant still hasn't claimed by then, but no they said they can't do that, despite me explaining that as soon as UC was paid I would give back any money the Council has paid me up to the UC payment date.

9:09 AM, 21st November 2019
About 10 months ago

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WP

9:17 AM, 21st November 2019
About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Disabled Tenant at 21/11/2019 - 09:09
That's really my issue - UC. If they are on HB when they come to me then fine I can get some kind of understanding by the Council in advance if the tenant will be paid the full rent or not and if not, if they can afford the top ups (or not) and then make a decision. Where it is UC I can't.
With UC , the Council step out saying the tenant has to claim direct they do not assist. I don't get any notification that the tenant has even claimed (even if they say they have), what they are entitled to, or anything until AFTER they have put a claim in...and that is only once they get a TA to start the claim. I'm in no win situation from the start. AUGH!

christine walker

9:22 AM, 21st November 2019
About 10 months ago

My new tenant was in HB in her last property and opted to stay on it. It still took 5 weeks to get the first payment and is still one week behind with the rent. The system needs a total rehaul.

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