This week I have been stung by my first experience of the benefits cap.
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.