Other Landlords experiences of successfully getting Rent arrears from evicted HB tenants

Other Landlords experiences of successfully getting Rent arrears from evicted HB tenants

10:47 AM, 12th August 2014, About 7 years ago 83

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Hi fellow members, Other Landlords experiences of successfully getting Rent arrears from evicted HB tenants

Love to hear your thoughts/experiences:

I’m going through the eviction process on two properties which are let to tenants claiming Housing Benefits. They have a combined arrears of over £6,000!

Is it worth the emotional stress (as well as time and costs) to go on a not so fruitful expedition of getting these arrears back after they have been evicted?

Yours  – a very frustrated landlord!

Sanjay



Comments

by Robert Mellors

23:54 PM, 2nd October 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Arran Pritchard" at "02/10/2014 - 22:47":

Copy of letter and form has been e-mailed to you.

by Arran Pritchard

23:58 PM, 2nd October 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Robert Mellors" at "02/10/2014 - 23:39":

do you also make the tenant request for TPP to cover ongoing service charges a condition of the license agreement

by Arran Pritchard

0:21 AM, 3rd October 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Robert Mellors" at "02/10/2014 - 23:54":

Thank you Robert.

My background before property was a software systems engineer (programming and support)

The software I use for my tenants accounts and my business accounts as a whole is microsoft excel together with vba scripting to automate the generation and emailing of various forms ( rent schedules, section 8 notices, rent arrears lists ).

These advices you have given me, I will now spend time to implement these forms into excel so they are generated and emailed/faxed automatically. I loathe spending time and energy on repetitive tasks when a computer will do them relentlessly (mostly without complaint) whilst I'm making a cup of tea.

If I can help you save time with repetitive task, please let me know, when I have the time I would be happy to help also.

Regards
Arran.

by Robert Mellors

22:48 PM, 3rd October 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Arran Pritchard" at "03/10/2014 - 00:21":

I currently use the free "Property Manager" software on the Property Hawk website, but this is very limited and does not allow me to do anything automated. For the bookkeeping we used to use Sage, but have recently transferred to Xero accounting software. We also have an excel spreadsheet showing rent and service charge arrears, and actions taken, e.g. reminder letter sent, s8/s21 notice been sent, etc. Being able to automate some tasks would be very useful, e.g. sending of rent reminder letters and rent statements.

by Arran Pritchard

1:21 AM, 4th October 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Robert Mellors" at "03/10/2014 - 22:48":

ok, will correspond via email.

by Arran Pritchard

14:22 PM, 4th October 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Robert Mellors" at "02/10/2014 - 23:54":

Hello Robert,

Thank you for the forms.

a) Request for direct deductions from welfare benefits.

I understand this form is for ongoing service charges, signed by the tenant to give DWP permission to make this deduction and pay it direct to landlord.

b) REQUEST FOR THIRD PARTY PAYMENTS FROM BENEFIT.

I understand this form is to request DWP to pay £3.65 when the tenant/resident goes into arrears. And, this is paid in addition to the amount noted in form a) the "Request for direct deductions from welfare benefits".

I have some questions specifically about form b) REQUEST FOR THIRD PARTY PAYMENTS FROM BENEFIT

i) how much arrears is typically accrued before the form can be submitted
ii) can the arrears be for rent and/or service charges ?
iii) I note on the form it states there is no shortfall in the rent, is there a reason for this ? ie. can rent arrears accrued from the shortfall be repaid by the £3.65.

Regards
Arran.

by Robert Mellors

18:15 PM, 4th October 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Arran Pritchard" at "04/10/2014 - 14:22":

Hi Arran

Yes, the one page form is the one the resident signs, it is their request/permission to the DWP to deduct the service charge from their JSA/ESA and pay it direct to the landlord.

The letter to the DWP (with the embedded DWP form) is from the landlord to the DWP asking for the ongoing service charge and the £3.65 pw off the rent arrears. The form can be submitted at any time, and you would also include a copy of the one page form signed by the resident.

If you want the £3.65 pw off the arrears, AS WELL AS the ongoing service charge, then this may not be granted until the resident has 8 weeks rent arrears. (Unless you can make a good case as to why this should be an exception, i.e. that the DWP pay you before 8 weeks arrears have accrued).

In relation to whether the arrears can include both rent and service charge arrears, then this is a bit ambiguous because we split the total occupancy charge into "rent" and "service charge", but in caselaw and legislation the term "rent" includes all charges for the occupancy, so that can include the service charges as well as the core rent. - This then gives you scope to include service charge arrears in the total rent arrears figure, so if the resident has little or no "rent arrears" for the room itself, but has service charge arrears, then the two can be added together to give the total rent arrears (which may then take you over the 8 weeks arrears threshold). It is this total arrears figure that is then used to determine whether the TPP for arrears will be paid, and indeed how much will be paid (over time, at the rate of £3.65 pw).

The DWP will not deduct £3.65 pw off the resident's benefits for HB shortfall (due to your rent being higher than the LHA rate), and will refuse the TPP request if they believe this is the cause of the arrears or the reason for the TPP request, so that is why this is stated on the form. - However, if the arrears are due to deductions from the HB, e.g. because of a previous overpayment, then this is NOT the same as a HB shortfall due to charging a rent above the LHA rate, and thus I believe such arrears can be incorporated into the total arrears figure.

by Arran Pritchard

1:24 AM, 5th October 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Robert Mellors" at "04/10/2014 - 18:15":

Thanks Robert, do you have the link to the caselaw and legislation where it states the term “rent” includes all charges for the occupancy. It would be useful to have this to hand if challenged.

Regards
Arran.

by Robert Mellors

11:07 AM, 5th October 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Arran Pritchard" at "05/10/2014 - 01:24":

Hi Arran

For useful legal definitions of a whole range of terms for the purposes of Housing Benefit, this is the link you need:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2006/213/regulation/2/made

In the case of "rent", this then refers you a specific section of the legislation, which can be found here:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2006/213/regulation/12/made

by Arran Pritchard

13:13 PM, 15th October 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Robert Mellors" at "04/10/2014 - 18:15":

Hello Robert,

The the one page form is the one the resident signs, which is their request/permission to the DWP to deduct the service charge from their JSA/ESA and pay it direct to the landlord, has been reject by my local job centre with the reason "arrears is less than 4 weeks gross weekly rent"

I called the central Third Party Payments Helpline 0345 600 2859 in Wolverhampton and they said I should call my local job centre Third Party Deductions Team.

The local third party deductions team are away today due to industrial action but wll be back tomorrow.

To summise, my tenat has given their permission and requested DWP to pay me direct, however my local job centre is not abiding by my tenants request ?

I have no experience, this is my first time requesting DWP pay service charge direct to landlord. Is there something I have done wrong, some criteria I have not met, is it my local job centre are in-experienced and made a mistake ?

They have not done this just for one of my tenants, they have done this for all my application, approx 15 so far, rejected the lot with the same reason.

Thanks in advance for your advice.

Regards
Arran.


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