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Rent arrears for tenant on benefits

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Author Topic: Rent arrears for tenant on benefits  (Read 58 times)
Newbie
Posts: 8

I like property

« on: June 18, 2022, 09:03:33 PM »

Hi all

In December my tenant stopped paying the rent. In March I applied for part of her benefits to come directly in lieu of the rent (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-landlord-request-for-a-managed-payment-or-rent-arrears-deduction) but the application was not successful

I donít actually know what type of benefits she gets. She is in her 60s, hasnít worked ever and lives with het university aged daughter. Sometimes her brother would stay too without her telling me. Only her name was on the tenancy.

A week ago thanks to legal for landlords support I managed to get possession order with Section 8 and award of about £4k  - I tried calling her to say pls leave now before we get bailiffs involved but she not having it

Iíve been advised that essentially thereís no point legally pursuing the arrears because I would have to pay in advance and the fact that she has no income or assets in her name means the court will likely not grant anything. This seems so unfair, I took her on knowing she was on benefits, kept an artificially low rent rate for years and was patient with her for last two years in which I was asking her to move out before I got lawyers involved (note I tried section 21 twice through LA but they messed up procedurally hence it took so long)

So with that in mind, any suggestions??

Iím aware that sheís also applied for a council house and other ppl have advised me that Birmingham city council does grant such to ppl (as in move them to top of the list) when they have the bailiffs notice but even then would wait until just before the due date

After this experience I canít see me ever taking a tenant who is on benefits, unfortunately, unless the government does force it like theyíre saying

Any advice / help appreciated
Global Moderator
Hero Member
Posts: 4466

Abuse Officer

« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2022, 07:31:31 AM »

What, realistically, can you do but follow the process to the letter and re-think your plans?

Unfortunately (and there may well be extenuating circumstances) you appear to have now got a Tenant on your hands who has decided it's perfectly feasible to not pay the rent and has found out the consequences of doing so aren't 'all that'... as we knew anyway. If it was a 'private' non-benefits Tenant I might suggest a quid-pro-quo in assisting with moving costs and an easy-going Check-Out (or even more) but this Tenant now has her sights firmly set on freeloading it all the way to the grave, possibly.

Is it possible to try again for the benefits to be paid direct, now you have a Possession Order in your... possession? I have a Tenant whose benefits are paid direct (so it still happens, but maybe they need to agree it these days, or even instigate it - my Tenant did so because she is feckless... but not so feckless that she doesn't realise she is). She knows if she got 'paid' (I have always found it strange how folk in receipt of Benefits term it "getting paid") her predilection would be to spend it before I got sight of it.

I think this will be a long-road... however, as Bailiffs become more real and present, you might get an overture from the Council.

If Section 21 is abolished completely, and nothing good comes in its place... many Landlords are going to have to take a long, hard look at their current Tenants and make a risk assessment.

I think I would try the Benefits again... the situation has changed (or exacerbated) in the time since they refused. If any part of her benefits is supposed to be housing benefit, the Government don't want it not spent on that. But, as you say, you don't know if she is in receipt of that.
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