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

21:40 PM, 15th October 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "David Carter" at "15/10/2014 - 20:02":

Thank you for clarifying that David. It would appear then that use of a HCEO for both the eviction and the seizure of goods could be a very effective option, particularly as you in effect get two enforcement actions done at the same time and for just one fee instead of two.

by Arran Pritchard

23:01 PM, 15th October 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Robert Mellors" at "15/10/2014 - 14:19":

Thanks Robert, I will digest and re-implement.

by Arran Pritchard

23:03 PM, 15th October 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Robert Mellors" at "15/10/2014 - 21:37":

ASTs with 2 months payment in advance.

Is this not the easiest way to do it then ?

The tenant is already 2 months or 8 weeks in arrears on day one, allowing DWP and HB to pay the landlord direct from day one. ?

Usually I'm missing something, surely it can't be this easy ?

by Ray Davison

23:20 PM, 15th October 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Arran Pritchard" at "15/10/2014 - 23:03":

When 2 months up front was first tried (After the deposit legislation came in) some courts decreed that it amounted to a deposit and so if you do that you risk the penalties of not registering the deposit.

by Robert Mellors

23:32 PM, 15th October 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Arran Pritchard" at "15/10/2014 - 23:03":

Hi Arran

This should work in relation to getting HB paid to landlord from day one, as does the clause within a tenancy that says that if tenant claims HB then it is a condition of the granting of the tenancy that the HB is paid direct to the landlord....... or better still use both clauses together as I now do for monthly ASTs.

I guess the same could apply to HMO rooms let weekly, i.e. 8 weeks rent due in advance, but it would seem quite odd, and it is very important that you are applying the same conditions to non-HB tenants, and those non-HB tenants are unlikely to agree to 8 weeks rent in advance (whereas for monthly rent family homes 2 months rent up front is quite commonplace). You have to apply the same criteria for HB and non-HB tenants otherwise you could be accused of having a "contrived" tenancy, in which case the Council will not pay you any HB at all.

In terms of the TPP, FOR ARREARS (the £3.65 pw for arrears), I think they also ask about the period of time over which the arrears have accrued, so I think you would need to be at least 2 months (8 weeks) into the tenancy before applying for these.

The 2 months/8 weeks issue is irrelevant for the application for TPP for service charges (to pay ongoing gas, electricity, water), so a 2 months rent in advance AST makes no difference for this part of the TPP.

by Robert Mellors

23:42 PM, 15th October 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ray Davison" at "15/10/2014 - 23:20":

I think this depends on how you treat the 2 months rent up front, i.e. if it is treated like a deposit it will be deemed a deposit, but if it is truly rent in advance then it is rent in advance.

I've not read the court decisions so forgive my ignorance, but if you expect 2 months rent in advance but then want rent every month as well, then part of this 2 months in advance is in effect a deposit. For example,if the AST starts on 1st Jan and the tenant pays 2 months rent in advance but is then asked for the next payment on 1st February, then 1 month is effectively a deposit, BUT if the 2 months rent in advance takes the tenant through to 1st March, then surely it is truly a rent in advance payment? - Perhaps the solicitors on here can confirm or contradict this logical argument?

by Ray Davison

23:46 PM, 15th October 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Robert Mellors" at "15/10/2014 - 21:37":

Thanks for that Robert, even though it maybe wasn't the answer I hoped for.

We get round the issue of direct payment by insisting a HB tenant has their LHA paid into a third party account (In the tenants name) with a mandate that it is passed straight from that account to ours. We have this as a clause in the AST and every tenant so far has preferred this anyway (Despite the governments best efforts to force them to do otherwise). This also gets round the problem of LHA clawbacks because as the payments are going to the tenant (The account is in their name) they cannot clawback direct from us. I know there are ways to fight such clawbacks but this way it doesn't even come up.

For this purpose we use Tasker Payment Services who are very good. There is a small monthly cost but we feel it is worth it as we know the money will be arriving religiously.

by Ray Davison

23:52 PM, 15th October 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Robert Mellors" at "15/10/2014 - 23:42":

You may be correct Robert and it is certainly logical although which parts of housing legislation or court decisions are logical? However, yes, in the early days people were trying to use the 2 months as the first month and last month (Which could not be determined of course until one party had given notice to end the tenancy) and then expect a rent payment at the start of month 2. How a court would decide if you did not want the next payment until the start of month 3 I am not sure I just know the advice has generally been to be wary of doing this.

You referred to a 'Contrived Tenancy' earlier. Would not deliberately putting someone two months in arrears on day one not be seen as contrived?

by Arran Pritchard

23:57 PM, 15th October 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Robert Mellors" at "15/10/2014 - 23:32":

Thanks Robert,

I emailed you the amended forms, as a double check before I re-submit.

I understand the first submission to DWP is only to request the ongoing service to be paid direct, and hence tailoring the request so it is clear to DWP that this is what I am asking for.

by Robert Mellors

0:02 AM, 16th October 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ray Davison" at "15/10/2014 - 23:52":

So long as it is your standard tenancy terms and is applied equally to all tenants, regardless of whether they are working professional or are claiming benefits, (or all new tenants), then no it is not "contrived". The word "contrived" has a very specific meaning within the HB regulations and there are several cases on this that help to clarify the circumstances in which a tenancy may be deemed to be contrived. Of course every case is potentially subject to interpretation by the courts, but simply asking for 2 months rent up front as standard practice, would not, in my opinion, make a tenancy "contrived". The tenant, can of course pay the 2 months rent up front, even if going on to make a claim for HB, so you are not deliberately putting someone 2 months in arrears, you are simply stating your expectations and requirements.


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