Government forcing landlords to house non-paying tenants for lengthy periods11:18 AM, 15th September 2020
About 5 days ago 39
I have a tenant who has not paid any rent since late 2019. I obtained a possession order just before lockdown and was in the process of instructing county court bailiffs when Covid-19 caused everything to grind to a halt.
I managed to get Universal Credits to commence direct payments in April so the arrears are not increasing. In the meantime, I communicated with the guarantor who is clearly very savvy and pointed out that due to a clause in the tenancy agreement he is not liable for the rent from the date of the possession order, as on that date the tenancy ended (in March). Solicitors have confirmed this is correct.
Could anybody advise me whether the Universal Credits payments should be allocated against the oldest arrears or whether they should be allocated against the actual month in which I received payment? If the latter applies then the guarantor is still on the hook as the arrears accrued before the tenancy ended, so I am hoping there are rules or guidance from the government which would clarify this, which somebody could point me towards. I have never received a statement or any documentation from DWP or Universal Credit and they don’t respond when I email them.
If there are no rules relating to which date Universal Credit payment should be allocated against then the oldest arrears would presumably be cleared first and the guarantor is off the hook.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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