Stung by the £500pw Benefit Cap, no rent being paid – Help!

by Mick Roberts

17:32 PM, 6th August 2013
About 7 years ago

Stung by the £500pw Benefit Cap, no rent being paid – Help!

Make Text Bigger
Stung by the £500pw Benefit Cap, no rent being paid – Help!

This week I have been stung by my first experience of the benefits cap. Stung by the Benefit Cap, no rent being paid - Help

One of my tenants Housing Benefit has gone down to £30pw from £159pw.

This is the cap where the Government are limiting families to £500pw of maximum benefits and all councils will have it by Sept 2013.

My tenant now gets £310 Child Tax Credit, approx £90 Child benefit & £10 Income Support with loans taken off. With Council Tax & the £30HB, we are about £500. A lot of money I know, but when they’ve had if for years, they’re used to it.

My tenant cannot understand at all that she has to pay any rent out her own pocket – so isn’t going to – so she says.

I’ve given her notice in case things get worse, as mortgages don’t grow on trees.

I don’t want her to go and she she doesn’t want to go either!

She rang me up every week for a year to get a house off me, so we are both valued to each other.

I have contacted Shelter, MP’s, Govt, CLG, Advice Centre, the Council Housing benefit and more and none of them seem to know anything whatsoever about direct payment to a Landlord when tenant is in arrears as a result of these circumstances.

The Local Authority is now saying no provision for direct payment to Landlord when in arrears.

As we all know Universal Credit are talking about direct payment to Landlord because of the big arrears they’ve been getting in trial areas. And as we all know, direct payment when LHA was introduced in 2008 was a no no,until we all moaned enough that is. Now getting direct payment is like taking candy from a baby.

However, I’m hitting a brick wall with direct payment under this new benefit cap.

I thought I was a benefit expert until this week. I’m 99% sure they will do something eventually, when enough people get evicted and moan enough, but I and many others need something positive to happen now.

My Local Authority are not interested, they seem to think it’s  funny that supercool Landlord Mick Roberts is now only getting £30pw when he was getting £159pw and in their eyes, lapping it up.

My tenant is still allowed £159pw under 4 bed LHA rate rules, but it is the benefits cap which is limiting her housing benefit payment to £30pw. Clearly this is the first thing tenants lose when going over the £500pw threshold.

Govt needs to wake up because they haven’t got the houses for for these tenants and wherever this tenant ends up she will only get £30pw towards her rent, so will be in the same boat with any Landlord.

The big families are no longer attractive!

Jeez, I wanted this to be a quick post, but if any experts reading this know more than me and can help, it would be very much appreciated.




Mark Alexander

21:15 PM, 6th August 2013
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Adam @Zeeblebum" at "06/08/2013 - 20:43":

I have to second what Vanessa has said Adam - brilliant post, and welcome back as always 🙂

Jonathan Clarke

21:17 PM, 6th August 2013
About 7 years ago


From what I understand if you employ them as your property admin assistant for example then the cap does not apply as they are working then they get back other things like child/working tax credits . Their HB is not affected. Make sure its under 16hrs per week . Pay minimum wage . Up the rent by the same amount as the wages you pay them so they pay you it back. You get full rent and free help running your business in effect. Genius eh!

Try DHP also but that lasts only 12 weeks but may bridge the gap till they sort the paperwork back in your favour of the Sec 21 kicks in.

But yes its another totally ill thought out policy. I`m getting a £600 pcm cash flow on one of my 4 bedders with a mum and 6 kids. I`m prepared to take a bit of a hit on the margins but £30 a week is farcical. Sec 21`s will flood the system and the taxpayers will pick up the B&B tab which will be at least 50% more than the current LHA rate.

Totally not in the kids interest. Where I am they haven`t even got enough B&B`s to supply anyway and have to farm them out to towns 15 miles away. Not great for September when they have to get them to school by 9am. Oh and the doctors and dentists will be a bit of a trek as well . And gran and gramps who previously mucked in with a bit of babysitting cant drive so thats out of the window.
Not really a family friendly policy.

I tried to set up a LHA emergency B&B myself as i saw a lucrative business opportunity as the emergency B&B rates are to die for. I would get one of my tenants to run them as they talk their language and wouldnt blink at accepting a homeless family at 10pm at night. Help employment stats as well. But the council didnt want to know. They said they were not interested in providing more unsatisfactory short term housing solutions. They just didnt get it. My voice rose slightly at this point The shutters came up and I had to leave.........................

21:44 PM, 6th August 2013
About 7 years ago

I believe that a council may discharge any statutory housing responsibility to the private sector.
If a tenant refuses to take the private offering which could be the other end of the country then the council has discharged its responsibilities.
Then the tenant is on their own.
It is about time that tenants who live in expensive areas and who have socially dysfunctional lifestyles appreciate that the taxpayer no longer wishes to fund their 'lifestyles'.
So I say to Mick's tenant welcome to the real world; now MOVE to where you can afford.
LL in expensive areas have had a good run; well NO longer, and about time too
Why should hard working taxpayers fund people who make the wrong choices in life.
Yes the state will provide for them; but it doesn't have to by provision of accommodation in expensive cities.
So she WILL have to MOVE; effectively having to make the same economic choices as any person who is in work!!
This situation should have happened 45 hears ago,
Welfare should be hand up NOT a hand out as so many benefit claimants have got used to it being.
So LL used to the cushy LHA benefit claimant will have to start renting to normal people who actually work for a living and don't have the cushion of the welfare lottery to sustain them!!
Hopefully we will see a wholesale movement of tenants who are affected by this benefit cap to cheaper areas; leaving those recently vacated properties in expensive areas for people who work and have made the right choices!
Personally I believe the benefit cap should be substantially reduced in an endeavour to force to people to work; which is not required presently as benefits presently do sustain a rather nice lifestyle.
Apparently someone in a job for 30 hrs per week could 'earn' net £45000 per year based on a particular domestic circumstance
So I'm afraid this tenant will have little sympathy form hard working taxpayers.
I suggest this woman gets used to understanding Northern dialects as that is where she will have to go if she wants the 'lifestyle' she is accustomed to!

Mark Alexander

21:55 PM, 6th August 2013
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Paul Barrett" at "06/08/2013 - 21:44":

Paul, clearly you've never spoken to Mick in real life! LLL

I can assure you he's not a posh Southerner and that his properties are certainly not in an expensive area.

22:16 PM, 6th August 2013
About 7 years ago

No I know he isn't but he can no longer rely on the amount and type of tenant he used to be able to rent to.
This is as it SHOULD be.
He may find that he will have to reduce rents and rent to people who WORK.
Because people who WORK live in the real world and therefore can only afford real world rents and NOT those sustained by unrealistic HB payments.
I'm sure there are plenty of 4 bed properties in various godforsaken places in the UK;
which is where the likes of Mick's tenant will have to go.
The benefit caps are NOT anywhere near onerous enough.
They should be such that it forces the claimants to work and stops jobs being given to immigrants.
We have a workforce that is unemployed and is kept so because benefits are too high to make it worthwhile working and immigrants WILL and DO take the low wage jobs that our unemployed should be FORCED to take. Of course people who are not able to partake in the normal workforce are satisfied by the state and that is as it should be.
for the vast majority that are on the scrounge they should be moved and forced to take low wage jobs; thereby solving the immigrant problem as they won't be needed as our unemployed will be doing all the job they would have taken.
I believe 1.5 million EU migrants have settled here and seem to have found jobs!!!
So pray tell our unemployed is about 2.5 million.........................why weren't the unemployed FORCED to do those jobs the EU migrants were perfectly happy in taking!!!???
It surely must be one of those great unanswered paradigms...............................................Why do migrants manage to find jobs and yet our unemployed can't!?................................Now I don't suppose it is to do with the level of benefits advanced to claimants is it!?
I think we all know the answer to that issue!
You will find that 95% of the population agree with these benefit caps and it has NOTHING to do with austerity.
We wanted these caps way before the CC occurred.
For too long a life on the soshe has been a viable way of living; this is unfair on people who do the right thing.
People need to be motivated to work.
Reduction in benefit is one way of achieving is along time overdue.
But remember aswell as hitting correctly the scroungers at the bottom end; the scrounger companies and individuals need to be hit aswell.
This doesn't seem to be happening and whilst I am thoroughly in favour of benefit caps I am in favour of hitting all the lying; cheating banks in their pockets to pay their just tax and any other institution which uses barely legal tax avoidance strategies.

Adam Zeeblebum

22:24 PM, 6th August 2013
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Paul Barrett" at "06/08/2013 - 21:44":

> "I believe that a council may discharge any statutory housing responsibility to the private sector. If a tenant refuses to take the private offering which could be the other end of the country then the council has discharged its responsibilities."

A main housing duty can be discharged via an offer of private rented sector accommodation, but it's not easy to do. The property (including its location and certain stipulations about the landlord) must comply with 'The Homelessness (Suitability of Accommodation) (England) Order 2012'.


And the criteria contained within that Order are in addition to those suitability criteria already laid down in previous legislation and statutory instruments.

As for the rest of your comment, I'm pretty sure that I disagree with every sentiment expressed in it, and I find much of it offensive.

Adam Zeeblebum

22:26 PM, 6th August 2013
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Vanessa Warwick" at "06/08/2013 - 20:52":
Thank you! 🙂

Adam Zeeblebum

22:27 PM, 6th August 2013
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "06/08/2013 - 21:15":

Thank you! It's nice to be back! 🙂

Mark Alexander

22:43 PM, 6th August 2013
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Adam @Zeeblebum" at "06/08/2013 - 22:27":

Adam, are you able to comment on Jonathan Clarke's suggestion?

If that works in practice then it's sheer genius on Jonathan's part to have worked it out.

What doesn't seem to make sense though is why a person working 16 hours would not still have the £500 pw cap imposed on them.

23:48 PM, 6th August 2013
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Adam @Zeeblebum" at "06/08/2013 - 22:24":

I think you'll find most of the country disagrees with you.
You are politically naive if you think there is an appetite amongst hard working taxpayers to support the irresponsible lifestyles.
I find it offensive that you seemingly support these wasters over hard working people.
You and your ilk are symptomatic of all that is wrong with the benefit entitlement culture of the past 45 years.
Perhaps if there were more sanctions to force the wasters to work then we would not have such a massive benefits bill and there wouldn't be a need for so many immigrants.
You may want to waste your taxes on these wasters................................I DON'T!
I think my views will prevail because it is the one of the majority of the UK population; so suck it up and get used to it!!!

1 2 3 12

Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?



New Welsh £8 million Tenant Saver Loan scheme for PRS only

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More