Bill irvine

Registered with Property118.com
Wednesday 7th August 2013


Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 69

Bill irvine

11:33 AM, 30th May 2020
About 2 days ago

Should I let to family through my limited company?

Reply to the comment left by Kulasmiley at 30/05/2020 - 10:53
Hi Jay

As one or two of the posters have commented it’s important to be honest with your lender on your intention to rent to a “close” family member. Whether you do or not however, doesn’t prevent HB or UC’s “housing costs element” being paid to your tenant. What is important, as I explained in my earlier post, is the intentions of the parties to create legal relations.

As long as the property you are proposing to lease is separate from your own accommodation there are no HB or UC regulations specifically excluding close family members. Whereas, if you rent a room in your own property to a son, daughter, mother, father etc. That’s specifically excluded.

If you contact your local council for its take, it’s more likely to say, it can’t until a claim for HB is made and it’s au fait with all the facts, as claims should be assessed individually, on the facts, with no one factor Trumping others.

One or two posters have referred to the issue of “contrivance”. The HB regulations makes no reference to this. What is referenced in Regulation 9 (1) (L) is the possibility of the claim being based on an “attempt to take advantage of the scheme”. Upper/tier judgements however warn councils against assuming too much importance on this as its usage could cause “Rough justice”. These decisions which must be followed by Tribunals also point to the fact, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a landlord, tenant or both, making best use of the scheme as long as their motives are not borne out of an attempt to “abuse”.

The following link is an article I produced for the RLA on the same topic.

https://www.rla.org.uk/landlord/guides/payment_of_housing_benefit_where_landlord_and_tenant_are_related.shtml

I hope you find this helpful.

Bill... Read More

Bill irvine

17:40 PM, 29th May 2020
About 3 days ago

Bill irvine

17:33 PM, 29th May 2020
About 3 days ago

Should I let to family through my limited company?

Hi Jay

Leasing to a “close family” member, like a mother, brother, sister etc. is perfectly legal & above board. Despite that, many housing benefit & universal credit “housing costs” claims are refused, usually on the basis the Council (HB) or DWP (UC) views the tenancy agreement:
1. A sham agreement; or
2. The terms of the agreement, between the parties, is non-commercial in nature; or
3. The claim was made to abuse the HB or UC scheme.

In fact, in the majority of cases, I become involved with, the grounds for refusal incorporate all three reasons above.

If you examine my website and/or the RLA’s, you’ll find a range of examples which illustrate the likely problems you’ll encounter. My most recent case involved a couple, with a Ltd company, renting to their mother. The mother moved into their property because of her age, ill health, it was more more suitable in size etc. Closer in proximity allowing more regular support.

The good news is, most appeals are successful but can sometimes take 6-12 months to secure.

Important things to consider:

1. Be perfectly honest from the start about the relationship between tenant and directors of Ltd company;
2. Make sure the tenancy agreement is of a standard type making no obvious “family” related concessions;
3. The agreed rent should be both reasonable and affordable;
4. Payment arrangements should be formal, ideally showing bank transfers from one parties bank to the other;
5. If the claim is refused, the tenant should make some effort to meet at least part of the contractual agreement.

Good luck.

Bill... Read More

Bill irvine

19:18 PM, 21st May 2020
About 2 weeks ago

UC47 rejected but tenant consistently in arrears?

Hi Mick
Good to see DWP’s staff had a light bulb moment. It’s taken long enough, as we’ve been highlighting the stupidity of this flawed approach for years.
As you imply, if an overpayment occurred, and it was discovered the landlord hadn’t reported the drop in rent, change in tenancy agreement, tenant’s vacation of the property, who do you think they’d pursue for recovery - the landlord, of course!
Another “old chestnut” applies in APA arrangements. DWP was forced to drop its absurd use of “explicit consent” in December 2017, which should have curbed landlord losses. However, three years later, DWP staff are still telling landlords “we need your tenant to agree to redirection” when it’s own published guidance confirms that’s not the case!
In a similar vein, I wish I had a £1 for every time a landlord phoned to report, the APA that was already in operation all of a sudden stopped, with no warning from DWP.
Why was it stopped?
The tenant asked for it!
The same tenant who had previously misused their “housing costs” incurring the debt, that forced DWP to redirect in first instance. Seriously?
Did DWP’s staff think to discuss the tenant’s request with the same landlord - of course not, that would be too sensible!
I could go on, at some length, as to all the various problems we’ve tackled, assumed they were resolved, only to find a week or so later, the same problems emerge.
This morning I received an email from an elderly landlord from London. She had pursued a £7,000 rental loss, due to tenant misuse and DWP maladministration only to be told by “DWP’s Investigator” that everything had been done correctly, it was up to the landlord to sue her ex tenant and as no error was caused by DWP her complaint could not be escalated. A load of tosh!
The APA scheme, yet again, had caused the lady wholly avoidable loss. She had every right to request further escalation to the Independent Case Examiner. DWP’s attempted denial is yet another example of why private landlords have little or no faith in an APA scheme & DWP Administration that is remote and completely ambivalent to the significant losses they’re unnecessarily incurring.
Bill... Read More

Bill irvine

14:35 PM, 15th May 2020
About 2 weeks ago

UC47 rejected but tenant consistently in arrears?

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 15/05/2020 - 14:06Hi Mick
I'm surprised to hear that's still happening because when the issue first came to light in 2013/14 DWP accepted an old AST was of no assistance, in terms of validating the rent charge.
At the time, both Social & Private landlords/agents were encouraged to create a one page document, addressed to the tenant, that confirmed the basic details: Tenancy start date; tenant's name; property address; post code; rental charge & frequency (weekly, monthly etc.) plus number of living and bedrooms. Several of my clients provide the information on their headed paper and hand this to the tenant at the point, the AST is signed.
The UC Regulations also provide, that DWP's staff can contact the landlord to ask for the correct details, if this has not been provided or there is some dubiety around this. The same regulations also require landlords & agents to notify DWP of any "material changes" to the rent charge. Failure to do so, could result in the landlord being pursued for any overpayment arising from this ommission.
So, there's nothing to stop them asking you for the information.

In the event the claim is decided, based on the incorrect facts, DWP can of its own accord remedy that mistake. Equally, tenants themselves an ask for the decision to be revised, taking account of the correct facts. Some of the large backdates my social landlord clients and I have secured in recent months (one involving £25K) were achieved following this course of action. Regrettably many of DWP's staff don't understand some of these more complex issues.

If you encounter any problems remedying your case, refer it to me and I'll pursue with DWP.
Bill... Read More