OpenRent Community

Housing Benefit and Rent Arrears

My current tenant has been in the property since December 2019.
She has not paid any rent since February 2020 till date.
I’ve heard 101 excuses for the reasons of non payment.
She also obtained the tenancy with stolen identification.
I have served a Section 8, which is due to expire on the 28th August 2020.
The tenant has told me that she has applied for Housing Benefit through Enfield Council - is there anyway of checking if this has been applied for and whether the tenant is receiving the benefit ?
I have not had any contact from the council.
I have asked the tenant to send me through the paperwork, but that was 3 weeks ago !
I am resigned to the fact that i will not be receiving any rent until i have the tenant evicted.

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In the same boat as you it’s awful isnt it and so unfair.we wait court date from August she probaly hasnt even applied for housing benefit.
We are owed 4 months rent hope judge makes a judgement against tenant.

Hi Andy,

Sorry to hear about your story.

Shocking. Stolen identification? How did it happen? Which ID did she use?

Can you report to police? Surely it is crime.If that is the case, you might be use squatter law to evict her since the tenancy is not valid due to the stolen identification. Squtter law might not need these long waiting or proper serving notice, I guess. I have no experience of it.

Whether she has applied for benefit or not, it is not your business. Even if she got the benefit money, doesn’t mean she will pay you. House benefit money goes directly to her. She can choose not pay even she has the money. Looks like she is not going to cooperate, the only way is to evict her and put a CCJ against her if you can.

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Hi. If rent is more than two months in arrears you can apply to have HB paid direct to yourself. You will need to phone the council to find out how.
UC includes Housing Costs (HB) so it would be worth going onto the UC Gov.uk website and filling in the online form. Very short. You will need the tenants DOB. If the tenant is claiming you will get direct payment. If no claim is in the system they will tell you so. If no claim is with UC still call the council as if they are only claiming HB that may be dealt with separately. You don’t need tenants permission to fill in online UC direct payment form.

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I filled in online UC form and have had direct payment awarded. You have nothing to lose by doing so.

I have been advised that it could be upto 6 months before the court date due to Covid-19.

Hi Mr_T

Do you know if i am allowed to find out if the tenant has applied for Housing Benefit ?

I have sent the council an email, but there is a minimum 40 day response time.

https://directpayment.universal-credit.service.gov.uk/

If the link above works you can apply here for the rent to be paid to you.

If your tenant is on UC then the Housing Costs are included as one payment. You just need the tenants DOB.

If the tenant is not on UC obviously you won’t be paid and they email you to say so. But it’s worth a try. You could get lucky.

I am not totally sure how it works but am wondering if the tenant is only claiming HB and not living costs also, if that goes through a different council department, instead of online UC.

Try the form it’s really short and they will let you know in a few days. If tenant not claiming then call HB and ask if you can get a direct payment.

Really appreciate your help.

Many thanks.

Let us know how you get on.

If there is more than one tenant fill in the form for each one. The system will link them both up to the same address.

Andy . in my experience the council want you to tell about a tenant but will not tell you anything about them . Its a one way street

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Hi Mr T,
Thank you very much for your link. I have one family living in the house, do I need to apply UC online form for each of the names?
Many thanks
Sandy

Andy, I have had same experiences as Colin3. Please be careful with the local councils, they will be nice to you, you will get nothing. Also, they will be advising tenant how to stretch out their unpaid stay at your expense. Why?
Because Council could not be bothered to catty out thier Statutory Duty to house vulnerables if they become homeless.

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Hi Sandy.
I filled out a separate online form for both of our tenants as they were both named on the Tenancy agreement.
I don’t know for sure if I needed to do it for both but did it anyway as wanted to cover all eventualities.
Personally, whoever is named on tenancy, I I would fill the online form for each.
The system linked them up so there was no problems there.
The reason I filled out a form for each was because I didn’t know which one of them, (if any) was claiming UC and the Housing Costs elements, as they both had jobs before so wasn’t sure what was going on.
It came back they were claiming ( despite them telling me they weren’t) so now I have direct payment.

From what i understand any new claim would go though universal credit not the council, i would ring your council ask them if this is correct if i am wrong then give them the tenants details, ( thay will not give you much information ) ask if they think you should be going back to the tenant, if i am correct then you can download the relevent form on the universal credit web site and email it though this will give you the information as to if you are being told the truth ( been there and had the same problem )

Andy, id the ID is fraudulent then there is no valid right to rent check. Maybe the Home Office would take action? Depends if she is legally in the UK. Otherwise I think it is just the court process.

many thanks for not only your clear information but also the process of your thoughts.
I will do the same.
nice to speak to you
Sandy

Make an appointment to see them, don’t go alone and record the conversation, you are allowed to do this covertly.
Explain to them the consequences of an eviction, court action, bailiffs, not able to get future credit, landlords black lists etc. Pause and let them think about it…
Tell them that you will give them notice in 48 hours unless you receive proof of the UVC claim. UVC provides the claimant with a ‘portal’ for communication, this ‘portal’ can be seen and used via a smartphone. So, they can easily show you when asked or send you a screenshot.
If you hear nothing in 48 hours then end all communication, hand it to a solicitor (plenty of affordable eviction services online). Once they are out bailiff them via court for your losses (and satisfaction)…

If stolen ID then how can Tenancy agreement be legal ?