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Just reading on MSE and went to this link

http://www.landlordsbestfriend.co.uk/resources/local-housing-allowance/

Some tenants believe it is acceptable to spend the money paid to them by the tax payer meant specifically for their accommodation on other things in order to support their lifestyle rather than use it to pay their rent. Landlords and Local Authorities are defenceless against this practice. However, what the law does state is when a claimant is claiming their benefits, that it is a prosecutable offence to not declare any change in circumstances, which includes additional income and that to do so is a criminal offence.

:)

Aren't they going to give all tenants their LHA direct soon?

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now, just a doggone second.

IANAL

however:

"If you have become a member of LBF you can now notify us of your tenants that have spent your rent elsewhere. This is fraud. Landlord’s best friend (LBF) is in discussions with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) as to how best to stop Local Housing Allowance (LHA) being spent by tenants as current legislation does not have any legal recourse for tenants who spend their LHA rent payments on anything rather than the rent"

so its a fraud they say.

but its not illegal they say.

I guess they have a banker on the board.

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For fraud they would need to prove dishonesty, not paying the rent with your benefits is not dishonest.

It is in my book, particularly if the money was given for that express purpose.

If a LA gives money for shelter and the recipient spends it on other things, should it be illegal for the LA to allow the recipient to freeze to death on the street?

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It is in my book, particularly if the money was given for that express purpose.

If a LA gives money for shelter and the recipient spends it on other things, should it be illegal for the LA to allow the recipient to freeze to death on the street?

woe betide those on 50K getting their child benefits and not spending them on the child.

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It is in my book, particularly if the money was given for that express purpose.

If a LA gives money for shelter and the recipient spends it on other things, should it be illegal for the LA to allow the recipient to freeze to death on the street?

No, if it was over a period of time perhaps. Once or twice no.

edit

I actually just read the whole page from the link. What they are advocating is that when the LHA is not paid to the landlord for the purpose of rent it amounts to a change of circumstance as the renter has effectively had an increase in income, it then becomes fraud.

Frankly the reasoning behind that is bizarre, it is not a change in circumstances, as there is no change in circumstances just that the renter failed to pass on money to the landlord that was for rent.

It's a breach of contract between the landlord and tenant and a civil matter.

Edited by Mr. Miyagi
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Yes it is.

It is a benefit paid to the tenant, and the amount they get paid is calculated as the lower of the actual rent they pay and the maximum amount payable based on where they live and their circumstances.

The job seekers allowance or whatever other cash benefit they get paid is supposed to cover things like electricity bills, but it isn't fraud if they don't send the money to their power supplier. I don't think failure to pay rent is any different.

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A letting agent told me recently that effectively they can - the LAs now pay out very quickly, and LLs in general aren't worried about losing money. Not sure of the details.

landlords can get the rent from housing benefit paid directly to them if the tenant get behind by 8 weeks

I think what these two statements tell us is that the arrears are covered by the deposit, so in that respect, they won't lose too much money.

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My housing benefit is paid direct to my so called 'social landlord'. They jacked up the housing benefit eligible service charges by 37% this year. Social pays it like, and the annual RPI inflation busting rent increases!

I had a bit of a problem having it set up like this. The council wanted to pay me direct, so I had to write a letter to explain why I was vulnerable. I just wrote;

Dole is very low and not enough to live on, if housing benefit was paid to me direct, there would be a great danger of me spending this moneys on food, perhaps even some heating and clothing appropriate for job interviews. I would then be at risk of becoming homeless. Do not give me the money, I will spend it on food. Yours sincerely, underemployed youth.

They pay it direct to my landlord.

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My housing benefit is paid direct to my so called 'social landlord'. They jacked up the housing benefit eligible service charges by 37% this year. Social pays it like, and the annual RPI inflation busting rent increases!

I had a bit of a problem having it set up like this. The council wanted to pay me direct, so I had to write a letter to explain why I was vulnerable. I just wrote;

Dole is very low and not enough to live on, if housing benefit was paid to me direct, there would be a great danger of me spending this moneys on food, perhaps even some heating and clothing appropriate for job interviews. I would then be at risk of becoming homeless. Do not give me the money, I will spend it on food. Yours sincerely, underemployed youth.

They pay it direct to my landlord.

i will have to tell my tenants to say this when i start my BTL empire :)

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It makes sense to pay claimants their LHA direct to them. The landlord should not be the benefit claimant. It's up to the claimant to be financially responsible, and the landlord to have some risk.

Not sure I believe landlords can reclaim any payments not made by the tenant from gov without consequence for the tenant.

For non LHA claimants, should landlords be able to file claims against all employers ensuring rent is paid to them direct out of your monthly wage, before you are paid? No it's the individual's own responsibility and the landlord has some commercial risk.

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It makes sense to pay claimants their LHA direct to them. The landlord should not be the benefit claimant. It's up to the claimant to be financially responsible, and the landlord to have some risk.

Not sure I believe landlords can reclaim any payments not made by the tenant from gov without consequence for the tenant.

For non LHA claimants, should landlords be able to file claims against all employers ensuring rent is paid to them direct out of your monthly wage, before you are paid? No it's the individual's own responsibility and the landlord has some commercial risk.

landlords can get the money paid direct to them, if the tenant is in arrears over 8 weeks

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I think what these two statements tell us is that the arrears are covered by the deposit, so in that respect, they won't lose too much money.

No, missed rental payment can NEVER be deducted from the deposit.

The deposit is a DAMAGES deposit and is returned to the tenant provided they leave the property in the same condition it was in when they moved in, less wear and tare.

Landlords used to try dodgy stuff with deposits, which is why they are now held in separate deposit schemes, and money is only released to the landlord with the tenants consent.

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landlords can get the money paid direct to them, if the tenant is in arrears over 8 weeks

Yes, I don't doubt they can. Read something about that before. It's still wrong though. You've got to give claimants some responsibility.

Not exactly standing them in good stead for the unemployed LHA claimants for responsibility required in working life, if they can't pass on the LHA themselves to their landlords, and resist temptation to spend it on themselves, beyond their other benefits claim for those purposes.

Edited by Venger
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No, missed rental payment can NEVER be deducted from the deposit.

The deposit is a DAMAGES deposit and is returned to the tenant provided they leave the property in the same condition it was in when they moved in, less wear and tare.

Presumably the LL could withhold returning the deposit until all outstanding rent has been paid?

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