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  • LHA/Universal Credit

    Council tenant rent arrears periodic tenancy

    Hi I had a council tenant in my buy to let who didn’t pay her rent for 8 months.

    I contacted the council and they are refusing to pay me the outstanding rent saying I have to contact the tenant and claim from her. 

    I have no idea where the tenant is and she will definitely not be paying me back. 

    I informed the council the tenant was not paying her rent and they stopped sending the rent money to her so she lived rent free for 8 months. She was on a periodic tenancy. Does anyone know if I am able to claim the rent back from the council under these circumstances?
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    In my experience no.

    You should have contacted the council at the start of non-payment of rent and then they would then after 2 months pay you direct, even if on universal credits. 

    It is frustrating and I have been chairman of local landlord associations run by the council who state they want to work in partnership with the PRS but the reality is different
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    Hi I did notify them after two months and they stopped paying her saying she had to have time to prove she had paid which she hadn’t. 

    The first person I spoke to at the council said they would pay me but even though I had his name the date and time of the call. I couldn’t get back in contact with him and no-one seems to have heard of him. 

    The housing department seems to have been contracted out.

    The council advised the tenant to stay put until the bailiffs had been. In the meantime she trashed the house.
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    Agree with Lou this sounds strange. You need to make sure you have all correspondence documented. Tedious but worthwhile!

    The council do not care about tenants and unfortunately treat them as a number.  

    They are told to stay until evicted which is both costly and physiologically damaging for many tenants.

    Also showing that the council do not want to work in partnership with the PRS which is a huge shame as most councils have no housing stock but still have a duty of care.
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    It is a shame also they just transfer you from one person to another. 
    Thanks
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    If you have DSS tenants you need to get them to sign a simple paragraph authorising you to speak with benefits. If you have the need it is worth getting to know a contact in benefits. You van then have a human conversation and I have on the whole found them good to deal with. They are just as frustrated by the system and don’t agree with how it works but have to follow the rules.
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    Sounds a strange one!

    If your tenant was on benefits, and unless you agreed that the Council will pay the rent direct to you due to previous non-payment, they will always pay her, and it is your responsibility to get it from her.

    I do not see why they would have stopped paying her unless she no longer qualified for housing benefit e.g. fraud. However, if this is an actual 'council tenant' i.e. you have given your property over to the council for letting for a fixed period, then the council is responsible for paying you.

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    They stopped paying her because she stopped paying her rent. So even though the council then kept the money and left her in my house living rent free. It’s really bad that they haven’t paid me the rent when they stopped paying her Thanks
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    You may have to accept a lost on this one. The council will not accept liability if the tenancy contract was originally made by you. It would have been different if you leased your property to the council.
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    Tara

    I’ll try and assist if I can but you’ll need to clarify a few things.

    Reading between the lines, I’m assuming this was a council homeless or housing options referral which you accepted and gave her an AST. If so, she’d be your tenant, not, as you suggest, the councils?

    Did you ask the council, by phone/letter/email to redirect HB/LHA due to rent arrears? If so, did the Council formally respond to your request and/or did you follow up your initial request. 

    When did she move in? When did she voluntarily vacate or was she evicted?

    If you can provide some clarity I should be able to advise you properly.

    Bill


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