Question regarding Local Authority Homeless policy

Question regarding Local Authority Homeless policy

16:06 PM, 15th August 2012, About 9 years ago 81

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I have a property related question regarding Local Authority Homeless policy.

My local authority advises tenants to ignore section 21 notices and to stay in the property until a court order / bailiffs arrive. If the tenant does not do this my council deems the tenants to have made themselves voluntarily homeless and they will get no help with re-housing.

I think this must be illegal as well as morally wrong as the tenant is only legally entitled to stay until the date on the section 21. Surely their actions are inducing my tenants to break a valid legal contract, they are interfering in a contract between me and my tenant, and their advice is causing me loss.

I know that Government does not like them doing this and advises them that Homelessness occurs once a section 21 is due to expire as long as it is valid and the landlord has a clear intention of enforcing it. It is such a problem that it has now been given it’s own term – gatekeeping. The council gets no benefit from this policy other than a short term gain, they still end up helping the tenants but just delay it by a couple of weeks. In the long term they shoot themselves in the foot because they now have a tenant on their books for life who will never be able to use the private rental sector because of his poor references due to the legal action.

I have complained about this before with my council but never had the time to take it any further. This time I have made a formal complaint and have a meeting on Monday with them.

What do you think? Do you know of any acts, quotes, references that you know may help my case?

Kind regards

Steve G



1:11 AM, 16th August 2012, About 9 years ago

They are not misinterpreting the law, in fact they are taking full advantage of the law.
Morally reprehensible I agree, but that is the law.
Atenant does NOT have to vacate until an eviction notice is enforced.
Councils just take advantage of this situation as they only have a duty to house someone who is homeless.
A Section 21 does not make anyone homeless, only a bailiff appointed by the court to enforce an eviction order may make someone homeless.
Only then will the council step in.
Generally with TA and then a nice cheap council or HA property.
Council tax non-payment is an imprisonable offence, that is the law.
Probably because it is a tax.
If council tax were a civil offence can you imagine the amount of people who wouldn't pay it!!?
I agree it is despicable the way these councils operate,; but they ARE operating within the confines of the law.
Doing so makes their job easier.
You can't blame them as it makes fullfilling their duties easier.
The fact that the poor old LL gets stuffed is of NO interest to them.
I think this backfires on them as LL just get fed-up with their attitude and won't rent to LHA claimants.
This then puts pressure to pay out for expensive TA.
To you and I there seems to be no logic to their behaviour.
We as LL don't understand the machinations of local govts and how budgets etc are aportioned.
I believe it is to do with that.
Unfortunately as LL we get the -hit end of the sticjk, as per usual.
Have you ever heard of any govt or charitable institution having sympathy and understanding for a LL plight.
I would suggest such sympathy is as rare as rocking horse -hit!!.


1:31 AM, 16th August 2012, About 9 years ago

I sincerely hope that your partner did NOT receive LHA directly!!
It is not allowed for a close relation to be a LL to a tenant in receipt of LHA, like the motherr!!!
If the council find out that LHA has been paid to a close family member they WILL come to the LL for clawback of ALL the LHA paid going back 6 years!!
Providing such LHA is paid to the tenant then there is no chance of recovery from the tenant for the incorrectly paid LHA unless the tenant has traceable assets.
A LL is NOT liable to repay any LHA if the tenant was always paid directly.
Councils might try it on clawback with a LL; just tell them to -uck off.
The council will not have broken the law in paying LHA, it is probably because they were not informed as to the family status of the LL and the tenant.
The question is on the HB form.
Not completing a HB form correctly is the only reason a council needs to withdraw a claim until a correct one is submitted.


3:52 AM, 16th August 2012, About 9 years ago

I was just reading a Section 21 notice and have realised that I may need rent paying until eviction.
It seems that once you have been granted a possession order thenit could take months to evict a tenant.
Apparently you should NOT accept any rent once a possession order is granted on the basisi that you would create an AST by the mere fact of accepting rent and would therefore have to start all the proceedings again.
This means I would want substantially more if a tenant requested a Section 21.
I presume that LHA even if paid directly would be stopped once the council had been advised of a successful possession order.
I can see now that this might be taken by the council as eviction occurring through non-payment of rent.
So perhaps it isn't as easy to work the system as I first thought to jump the housing queue.
I'm sure though that I have received LHA up til eviction date, so I'm not realy sure now whther continued recept of LHA after a possession has been granted would mean the council would say as LHA was paid directly of passed onto the LL by the tenant that another AST had been created and the eviction would be invalid.
Obviously this plays right into the one and only Mr Lewis field of expertise.
Any chance Ben of enlightening us.
I do try to know the law, but I surely can't know everything about the system.
I bet even you don't know EVERYTHING, so give some of us a break, we do try to know what is required.
I have learnt stuff from you that I didn't even know you had to know!!
We need lots more like you imparting such valuable knowledge to enable the more motivated LL to carry out their duties in a more correct and effective way
Please don't retire!!!!!!!

by Mark Alexander

7:27 AM, 16th August 2012, About 9 years ago

Paul, this sounds very interesting. I've found their website and I will be investigating. No idea yet whether it's a scam but rest assured I will be asking lot's of questions. Their website leaves a lot to be desired but let's see shall we?

by Nat Patel

8:28 AM, 16th August 2012, About 9 years ago

Hello,I am in same position as you.No help from council at all !! I am in LB HARROW.I talked to the officers twice,My tenants are in £7800.00 areas to date I have applied all orders, finally,last month we got reply in our favor for eviction ,but we got to wait for bailiff date ,that is I am awaiting .I just herd from court that may be in September 2012 as they are so busy.I will post you any result I have in the near future.There is no easy way out of this notice and that notice and orders.

by Antony Richards

9:00 AM, 16th August 2012, About 9 years ago

It seems that courts in the Plymouth area are frowning over the use of S21 notices which are more than 12 months old. Indeed the advice given to Cornwall Council housing advisers at a training session was that any S21 more than 12 months old was invalid. I had to explain the law to the officer concerned with a recent case and subsequently the advice has changed. Interestingly a director of Cornwall Resident Landlords Association also told me the same thing and was a little surprised when I corrected him.
A S21 does not bring the tenancy to an end. It is only asking for the property to be returned. Only the court can end an AST


9:26 AM, 16th August 2012, About 9 years ago

Good this page isn't it. 27 comments.
Latest score from the tele-printer ........
The People 24 - 3 Public Enemy number One ('The Council')

by Mary Latham

11:34 AM, 16th August 2012, About 9 years ago

There is no prescribed form for a Section 21 Notice and therefore the "papers" cannot be "old" So long as the notice has the correct information and is served in the correct time frame the S21 is valid. I would be interested to hear more about exactly what the local authority are saying on this one please.
Paul B is right about LHA being paid to a close reative.

by Mary Latham

11:38 AM, 16th August 2012, About 9 years ago

Antony good for you for educating this authority I hear this from time to time because these officers are looking for ways to invalidate the S21 and delay the possession - thats fine because part of their job is to keep the roof over a persons head - but they must not be allowed to suck things out of their thumbs to do it.

by Mark Alexander

12:30 PM, 16th August 2012, About 9 years ago

UPDATE - I've had a more detailed look at the Deposit Approve website and spoken to one of their representatives. The product is a warranty which means that purchasers are not protected by insurance legislation. The product is not underwritten by an insurance company. Their website states that the business has been trading for 2 and a half years. The company was incorporated on 27 September 2011 so there is not much information available. The first accounts will be to 30 September 2012 and should be filled by 27 June 2013. The first annual return is due 25 October 2012. I was advised by the person I spoke to that initial trading was as a partnership and incorporation came later. This is credible. I am, therefore, unable to obtain financial information to take a view on whether the company has sufficient financial reserves and capital adequacy to settle claims. I was advised by the person I spoke to that they are working on an offering direct to landlords but that such a product is not currently available. I was also advised that the company is in negotiations with local authorities who may wish to utilise the product. If they manage to do some deals with local authorities and satisfy their due diligence this will obviously add significant credibility to their offering. I will be watching this one with interest.

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