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You must be very thick skinned Kim because I find chasing people for top ups exremely unpleasant and mentally draining.That is why I now take Eastern Europeans and not LHA.
Jonathan Clarke. http://www.buytoletmk.com
So wise Jonathan
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(10-02-2015 10:41 AM)Adam Hosker Wrote: You got any more on this Paul? - I can not find any reference.
I dont understand its purpose as you describe, perhaps I am misunderstanding the proposals but in essence on a £350 every 4 weeks LHA, they will deduct £35. It makes no sense to me other than to reduce LHA bill.
As for tenants paying top-ups sure for first month you are fine, then you are well in with a fight with every other supplier the tenant has. An LHA landlord we assist works her spreadsheets based on estimated LHA rather than the full rent that she and the tenant is contractually obliged to pay..
Was a LL in the good old days when we were paid housing benefit direct in ALL cases. Then, this working policy was changed to give HB tenants responsibility. For 6 of our tenants and us, this did not work out, responsibility was not their thing . After a long costly battle I did perservere to mentor 2 tenants who are still with us.
We have 2 long termers left and due to their personal issues and me negotiating on their behalf with their local councils, when their six week arrears period was up, I was paid direct. In both cases they couldnt be arsed to sort it out. ( * have the skills to rectify *) One of these local authorities has an anti- landlord approach which further disinsentivises the 'help those less fortunate', ethic.
I''m sure that there are LL out there with many positive experiences with HB tenants , but for us it's been the opposite. To expect a LL to teach their tenants to be responsible individuals and conform to societal norms is ultimately scapegoating a LL to deal with societies messes.
Around 2008, coumcils set the LHA at the same level as the PRS in a drive to create equality in where a person on HB, in relation to a private renting tenant could live. This is a move that is now backfiring in line with s.24, yr 1 of tangible entry. The nicer areas to live command the biggest rent rises. The LHA can't keep up.
The final straw in taking the decision to take no more HB tenants has been the Local authority not raising the Local Housing Allowance rates. They sit 25% below their market value.
Personally, we raised them to 5% below this and the tenants were topping up ( irregularly) One has just given notice as they not happy with the increase and left the property a state. However, their absence is a weight off the shoulders.
To then be further insulted with threats from government reps, intimidating LL to turn in to a charity that provides free homes and a personal social work service, is a joke.
Having two seperate payments coming in, one usually 4 weekly but not always and another part in irregular installmemts , if at all, is not another blow that many wisened HB /LL acceptees are likely to tolerate.
I have been a die hard LHA LL since 1999 but like you seen a gradual erosion of our working conditions due to a relentless attack on LL and tenants via the welfare budget so called reforms The attack has hit both Even though the HB Regs Amendment came in force 2011 which allowed all my payments to become direct once more, that incentive was overshadowed and made meaningless with the LHA freeze but more so the HB caps making the model very uncompetitive.
But the final straw for me is none of that - it is UC which has already dealt a fatal wound to one of my tenants and left me incandescent with rage at a system not fit for purpose. For the last two years I got direct LHA payment with a vulnerable alcoholic tenant with an addictive dysfunctional personality. I worked with the welfare state and social services and her extended family and took her in to try and establish a workable solution for her and her 2 kids. And for 2 years it worked well . I got my rent on time every time and social workers and extended family worked with her to deal with her issues. They were able to do that in the knowledge she had a safe space to stay which was only 30 yards down the street from her extended and very supportive family .
Then without any notification to me or her extended family she was put on UC. She spent it on drink, got drunk. got arrested, lost her kids and has now lost her. home. The rent arrears reached about 2K and it could all have been avoided if i and the extended family had been included in her personal care plan but I and they were excluded. The government can talk about social responsibility of the tenants managing their finances to prepare them for the workplace and its all very laudable. But there is a whole section of society that would need one on one support in order to achieve this. And that support is simply not there. And in many cases its just not sensible to give them the money at the outset. Saying it can be paid direct later if they fail to pass it on is way too late as it was with this tenant.
Even though its not my role they could have used my support as an add on to social services working together with the welfare dept to achieve the best outcome for the tenant. Its in my business interests to do this and I also have a social conscience which the LHA model appeals to But they didnt want to work with me . They did and wanted exactly the opposite in fact. They ignored me sidelined me and actively excluded me from the process of transition of LHA to UC .. So one of the main persons in their life responsible for keeping a roof over her head for her and her kids was excluded in any discussion or decisions about that roof over the head and how it should be financed
Its an example of the governments abdication of responsibility and a neglect of their duty of care towards an individual -
especially a recovering alcoholic
To suddenly give a recovering alcoholic with an addictive personality £600 rent is asking for trouble .
And trouble is exactly what happened . And you could see it happening from a mile off.
It was an accident waiting to happen. It was like a slow motion car crash
And it is and will be happening on an industrial scale as UC is rolled out with its crude flawed implementation
The government is setting thousands of ex LHA now UC tenants up to fail
I saw it unfold before my eyes and was powerless to stop it
And it is an act of criminal neglect in my eyes
I`m toying with building a case against the state for criminal neglect. There are 1000`s who do not have a social worker and it would be harder to prove but someone who has been assigned a social worker and has multifaceted needs and should be supported one can build a case. Their housing needs should be looked at as part of their care plan. Not to do so and not to see the warning signs with UC is a criminal neglect.
You do not give a recovering alcoholic £600 behind the back of a social worker . It undermines their work
The same for heroin addicts, gambling addicts, shopping addicts and countless vulnerable others
It makes the government complicit in the crime of criminal neglect time after time
I see where you are coming from regarding a criminal Case. In some local authorities, tenant liason officers are employed to prevent such incidences. They act as a go between for landlords and tenants to help the tenant maintain their tenancies.
It's the postcode lottery effect though as In some areas they don't exist, most likely the area where you and your tenant were ultimately let down. Vulnerable people are labelled that for a reason and for the state to be ignorant to that in all Areas of that person's well being is morally criminal, at least.