MPs urged to let benefit tenants choose how to pay their rents

MPs urged to let benefit tenants choose how to pay their rents

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MPs urged to let benefit tenants choose how to pay their rents

Tenants picking up housing allowances to pay their rents should have the choice to pay their landlords direct, says the Residential Landlords Association.

The RLA has lobbied strongly for the government to let landlords receive direct rent payments instead of giving the money to tenants.

The RLA plea comes as MPs sit down to debate the controversial Welfare Reform Bill, which includes several clauses about housing allowance put forward by Iain Duncan Smith.

Recommendations in the bill include capping housing allowance payments at 80% of the average local rent. Other proposals include setting maximum weekly payments for private rented accommodation based on the number of bedrooms in the home.

Homes with five or more bedrooms would not qualify for any housing allowance.
The RLA alleges many tenants on housing allowance are in rent arrears because they opt not to pay the money they receive to landlords. The group also claims research shows many tenants would prefer their rent to be paid direct so they had security of tenure and no arrears.

The government says paying allowances to tenants makes them responsible for managing their finances in the same way as tenants who do not receive any allowances and special arrangements should not apply.

Meanwhile, recent research by homeless charity Shelter concludes nearly all tenants (95%) who would like their allowances paid direct to their landlord have problems managing their money.

RLA chairman Alan Ward, said: “In opposition, the Conservatives supported the principle of tenant choice, believing it to be good for tenants seeking financial security and good for landlords, many of whom face unsustainable levels of rent arrears.
“As the government pursues an agenda of consumer and user empowerment and choice, the RLA is calling on the same principles to be applied to the private rented sector, with greater freedoms for tenants to choose what best meets their individual needs.”

Comments

7 years ago

One area not mention above is the fact that since the change in the payment system a lot of landlords will no longer rent there properties to DSS Tenants, myself included.

This leads to a limited choice of property forcing tenants to choose a less value for money accommodation option.

I used to love renting good property to DSS Tenants and getting my rent throug every 4 weeks now I wont rent to people on benefit.

7 years ago

Until my company is paid direct from the Government I will not be renting any of my stock to DSS tenants.

7 years ago

if you have a tenant in arrears of two months you can get paid direct to the landlord ok but big problem if found they not entitled to the benefit or a mistake by the benefit office they can claim back up to six years rent and if you have more than one they can take other tenants benefits to get the money back you rent houses to and they will still be classed as paying there rent also if you are in hull be aware i when to court with a benefit tenant owed over thousand pounds and yes he gets legal aid and said defective did not have time on notice and the judge said did not matter he did not pass on the rent it may be fraud but of little money and did not matter and let him of did not have any money to pay back and still allowed to stay in the house but on the judgement did not say that says nobody turn up at court so when you get judges doing that what hope is there

7 years ago

just wanted to let you guys know that i agree with the first coment on here and we do not take DSS Tenants anymore . we use to like to have the Dss Tenants as the payments were on time all the time We went to a Council Meeting when this {became Law} and a lot of tenants turned up ALL IN SUPPORT OF THE LANDLORDS but to no avail we made the Council aware of what would happen and it has .

Allen Shepherd

7 years ago

In some instances the falling in arrears is deliberately engineered by the tenant as a short cut to the council housing list at the Landlord's expense. With the threat of eviction due to rent arrears the council is then forced into housing the tenants. Even when this is pointed out to the council they have said that they are fully aware of this strategy and I quote " - it is not illegal !!"

7 years ago

Unfortunately as the comments show there is a large gap between how the system is meant to work and how it works in reality.
The bottom line as a first step is reasonably simple and straight forward, have the rent paid to the landlord.
This then at least gives us a fighting chance so that when the cheque does not turn up we can take action of some description.
The second logical step would be to allow the housing benefit office to answer one simple question "Is there a valid claim in for rent on my property".
As we will all be aware not only do we get the tenant saying there has been a cock up we then get the benefit office saying we cannot tell u anything.
If you ran a company like they run the benefit system you would soon be bankrupt.

7 years ago

I,m considering pulling out of the rental business, going on benefit and putting my feet up and live a lot longer! Trouble is, I'll be hammered for capital gains tax. I think we know who the winners are!

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