Tenant on housing benefit says she is moving out early

by Readers Question

10:10 AM, 27th October 2016
About 2 years ago

Tenant on housing benefit says she is moving out early

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Tenant on housing benefit says she is moving out early

I have a tenant on housing benefit that has handed in notice of 4 weeks even though she has 5 months to run on her fixed 6 months AST. contract

If she moves out were do I stand.

At the moment the council pays the benefit direct to me.

Many thanks

George



Comments

Neil Patterson

10:15 AM, 27th October 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi George,

In theory you can hold the tenant to the end of the contract.

In practice you are unlikely to get the money for this.

Path of least resistance, cost and pain may be to be helpful and ask for the tenants assistance viewing the property asap so you do not have a long void.

There are much worse stories of what can happen with Benefits tenants than moving out early.

Gary Nock

16:56 PM, 27th October 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi George

First of all you are lucky to be paid direct. There are landlords on here who don't and some who are far better qualified than I to advise on benefits tenants. Don't think the council would honour any tenancy agreement as the AST is between you and the tenant, not you and the local authority. Obviously something "important" has come up with the tenant. She may have had benefits reduced or stopped and that's why she's going. Bear in mind if she has been claiming benefits she's not entitled to and they are paid direct, then they can be recovered from the landlord.

Under normal circumstances when a tenant wants to leave early, I ask them to pay the landlords cost of re-let, and any void period that occurs during the remaining fixed term, or the remaining rent under the fixed term, whichever is the least. If its let straight away it saves the tenant money. If not they only pay what they are contracted to pay anyway. I think thats pretty fair.

However we are talking a benefits tenant here....so not much point trying to do the above. Sorry if its a jaundiced view but it's born of experience unfortunately.

Get her out and be thankful is the advice I think. And take a new professional referenced tenant with rent insurance guarantee.

David Rundle

15:32 PM, 28th October 2016
About 2 years ago

HB pays by occupation- use the deposit for rent liability in the fixed term until you relet
Ask why she is moving?
Overpayments are only charged to the landlord if you know of the change of circumstances so please still consider LHA tenants as many of us are only a P45 away from being a LHA Tenant?

Yasin Leysan

21:47 PM, 28th October 2016
About 2 years ago

Hello dear,

As long they are going to give you the property same condition they moved in then you may not have problems letting quickly. Tell them you can go but your responsible for the council tax untill let within 5 months and best practice is to let tenant go if they wish to go as change of circumstances happens all the time

raj beri

7:54 AM, 29th October 2016
About 2 years ago

I do a lot of HB tenants. Did you get a deposit, did you get 1st months rent in advance? Both can be kept as you'll be in rent arrears due to early departure. Also if you can get a surrender of tenancy signed...then start again

Colin McNulty

8:47 AM, 29th October 2016
About 2 years ago

I have benefit tenants and would echo what others have said. Keep the tenant on side. Let them go, but make sure you get a declaration of surrender of tenancy signed.

I even offer my tenants £10 when they give the keys back, as it saves me the hassle of changing the locks, and is double proof that they've ended the tenancy.

As you're paid directly by the council, you should inform the council's housing benefit team when they've left, otherwise they'll claw back that rent.

Yasin Leysan

9:56 AM, 29th October 2016
About 2 years ago

Hello Dear,

If the tenant wishes to go and property is same condition they moved in then you can let quickly. Tell the tenant in fairness you cover the council tax until property is let and is only that time you can deal with the return of the deposit so this might let them agree or avoid moving out unnecessary. If they refuse and move out then you can use your the tenancy to proof is their responsibility for the council tax


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