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maxine
26-10-2009, 14:44 PM
My tenant informed me today she is planning on claiming housing benefit temporarily as she cannot work for at least 2 weeks due to injury. I have had problems in the past with her paying her rent even when she was working to the point of serving her a section 8. She is still £100 in arrears and I am worried that waiting for a housing benefit claim to go through will take forever. Does anyone know generally how long this takes.? I take it her rent due on the 1st will not be paid and possibly Decembers rent. Am I still able to act on a section 8 if she is awaiting housing benefit? I am not a "professional" landlord - and if she doesn't pay the rent I am going to struggle to pay the mortgage. :eek:

tom999
26-10-2009, 15:10 PM
She is still £100 in arrears and I am worried that waiting for a housing benefit claim to go through will take forever. Does anyone know generally how long this takes.?It varies. Can be typically anything from 4-6 weeks (although, I have heard of cases being 'fast-tracked' in exceptional circumstances, in less than a week). However, the HB department are obliged to make an interim payment within 14 days of application being accepted. If you are not already aware, but HB/LHA will be paid to the tenant (except in special cases), and she is 'obliged' to pay landlord rent, as in AST.


Am I still able to act on a section 8 if she is awaiting housing benefit?Yes, but you will stand a greater chance of possession if more than 2 months rent is owed (if rent paid monthly), by serving s.8 g8, 10, 11.


I am not a "professional" landlord - and if she doesn't pay the rent I am going to struggle to pay the mortgage.Serve a valid s.21.


Note: Answers above apply if tenancy is an AST in England or Wales.

havensRus
26-10-2009, 15:41 PM
I am not a "professional" landlord - and if she doesn't pay the rent I am going to struggle to pay the mortgage.
"professional" landlords also struggle if tenants don't pay rent. Its a myth that all portfolio landlords are rolling in dosh. I think the definition of porfolio/professional is someone with 5 or more rental properties! not sure...


My tenant informed me today she is planning on claiming housing benefit temporarily as she cannot work for at least 2 weeks due to injury.
If you are in a position to do so, I'd suggest that you help her fill in the benefit application form (get one yourself if you have to) and sit with her to fill it in. Tick the box that gives landlord 3rd party authorisation and make sure she signs that section. Back it up with a letter from her giving you third party authorisation. Make sure she has the correct paperwork to accompany the application-the form should have a list on the back, or the council can tell you what's needed.

It will be worth submitting a letter together with the application requesting direct payment to you, together with a copy of the Section8 notice you served her. You never know, the HBO just might consider it. If they don't, then the benefit gets paid to her directly, and she may never pay it to you, with the attendant consequences. Not intending to scare you, just telling you what to expect.

As tom999 has indicated, some councils will fast track the application - if the paperwork is correct. I've had a payment within 14 days for a new application, so it is do-able. Go with her to the council if need be. If she's been bad with paying rent, she isn't likely to be any better with getting her claim sorted promptly.


I take it her rent due on the 1st will not be paid and possibly Decembers rent. Am I still able to act on a section 8 if she is awaiting housing benefit?

1. correct for Nov, Dec.. depends on speed of HB award. Hope you know that HB is paid 2 or 4 weekly in arrears anyway.
2. you can action S8 anytime, regardless of HB status, but stand better chance of gaining possession order if rent of 2 months/8 weeks or more remains unpaid. As she is on a monthly rent, if Nov and Dec rents due on 1st are not paid on due date, you can start action on 2nd Dec.

HTH and Good luck!

havensRus
26-10-2009, 15:42 PM
Do take time to read some of the posts on the HB/LHA forum. Be prepared.