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Landlords are at the mercy of tenants playing the system

I couldn’t agree more with the National Landlords Association’s recent criticisms of government proposals to offer more protection for tenants
The government is being stupid. Look at the way Housing Benefit works now – there’s the Local Housing Allowance which is a good idea but payment is made to tenants rather than landlords.

If rent is not paid, what can landlords do?

The government lives in fairyland. It does not realise a lot of unemployed tenants have financial problems and many are addicted to drugs or gambling.

Some tenants claim Housing Benefit and then don’t pay their rent. Isn’t that fraud?

A register for landlords won’t work. The best thing would be to have an ombudsman to resolve issues between tenants and landlords, scrap deposit protection schemes and stop paying Housing Benefit to tenants.

And why not create a database for non-UK citizens? This could contain European Union nationals as well as foreign nationals to ensure they don’t cheat the system.

I know for a fact there is a lot of fraud in the system, primarily due to the payment of Housing Benefit direct to tenants.

Once they get a tenancy agreement some tenants stop paying their rent so their landlords evict them. They then have their mail redirected so their benefit cheques go to other addresses and they cash them.

Of course, the innocent landlords have no idea what’s going on as they have already evicted them and know nothing about their claims. So why should landlords be punished?

Tenants provide no security and some simply run off with rent, furniture and valuable appliances.

When tenants steal or leave without paying their rent landlords are understandably worried about the same thing happening next time round.
So get tenants sorted out but please get the law in shape to protect landlords too.

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  • Lauren 31st August 2013 at 9:57 pm

    My father was renting out a property where by the tenant received hosing benefit however she eventually stopped paying it and moved out a month before we found out about it. She has taken all of the furniture and the police claim although it is theft their hands are tied as it is a civil matter the system is a joke and it’s scum like this it protects not people who do their bit and abide by the law; yet if we were to go and retrieve the items we would be the one’s charged with theft – also she is again in receipt of housing benefit for her new property in spite of there being proof she owes £2000. Too many people being taken by the hand.

  • Karen 7th August 2013 at 7:12 pm

    I found out that my tenant has been claiming housing benefit today. He owes me £3000 and has not passed on the rent-housing benefit to live in my house. He is also refusing to move out. So I am paying solicitors to go through an evictio process. The tenant has claimed housing benefit yet not passed this on, surely this is fraud? The interesting thing is the tenant will get away with it and do it to the next landlord! What can we do??

  • sandra mcclaren 13th February 2012 at 7:16 pm

    my tenant has been getting housing benefit but not paying me. Im owed £1,000 now council are going to pay rent to me in 3 weeks time. But i will not get my £1,000 already owed back. i cant afford to lose the money. i think claiming HB and keeping it and not paying landlord is FRAUD but what can i do?

  • paddy 10th February 2011 at 12:17 am

    This artical is shamefully wrong.

    I’m on JSA, I also get HB. I have a private landlord.
    On my HB form i had the choice if the money goes into my bank, or my landlords. I put my landlords. It totally made sense since it would be 10 times easier. All i would have to do is pay her the rest.

    And who ever said this;

    “The solution is easy, start refusing to take tenants on Job seekers or housing benefit unless they are over 50 years of age, this seems to be the safe line.Or just refuse totally. Hopefully the rules will change with a change of government”

    Your cold. do you know how hard it is to get the council to help you get a place with out being on a list for years.
    People need short term soloutions. Especially if they are out of work for a while.

    I personally hate this current world system.

    Open your eyes.

    While im here, check out Zeitgeist. Google it 🙂

    Ta.

  • James O'Reilly 23rd June 2010 at 9:20 am

    The government ruling of paying housing benefit to the tenants instead of the landlords is akin to letting the lunatics run the asylum.It takes up valuable time when landlords have to phone the local council to enquire if the tenant has been paid and cost the government more money in employing extra staff to cope with the mountain of complaints and enquiries from landlords.

  • Anon female 22nd June 2010 at 9:56 pm

    It should be mandatory for housing benefit to be paid straight to a landlord I think. The money doesn’t need to pass through the tenant’s hands so why does it?

  • Anon female 22nd June 2010 at 9:55 pm

    It should be mandatory for housing benefit to be paid straight to a landlord I think. The money doesn’t need to pass through the tenant’s hands so why does it?

  • daz whitehouse 22nd June 2010 at 2:48 pm

    the main reason that the money was paid to the tenants was because greedy landlords carried on getting benefits after the tenants left & it was nearly impossible to recover! add that to there refusals to have maintenance work done or fix problems and threaten you with eviction if you dont like it.
    I am 36 & receive carers allowance for looking after somebody which also entitles me to housing benefit & find it almost impossible to get landlords to allow me to rent

  • A true British lover 21st February 2010 at 3:30 am

    True. I agree with NLA. I think the government is being stupid. Look at the way housing benefit works now, they got LHA, which is a good idea, but the payment made to tenant is not being paid to landlords. So what option does that leaves to the landlord, if the rent is not paid, what can a landlord do?

    The government lives in a fairyland, they don’t realise a lot of unemployed tenant have finance problems and many are also on drugs or have gambling addiction. Government need to wake up. Some of the tenants are claiming housing benefit and not paying the rent, shouldn’t that be seen as benefit fraud?

    Secondly the register for landlord will not work. Best thing to do is have a ombudsman to work by resolving issues for tenants and landlord. And the deposit protection scheme should be scrapped, the deposit protection scheme is not working and its very unlikely the landlord register will work.

    Just open a ombudsman for tenants and landlords to resolve issues, scrap the deposit protection scheme, scrap paying housing benefit paid directly to the tenant, pay the housing benefit direct to the landlord, this will reduce the fraud.

    Create a database for all non UK citizens. The database to contain all European Union national as well as all foreign nationals to ensure they don’t cheat the housing benefit system. I know there are lots of fraud due to the government paying housing benefit to the tenant, now the tenant don’t pay the rent, and secondly once they get tenancy agreement then they stop paying the rent and claim housing benefit, so the landlord evicts them, however the tenant use mail redirection letter with the post office services to redirect all housing benefit cheques to other address and they cash the cheque, when the innocent landlords have no idea whats going on as he have already evicted the tenant and knows nothing about the housing benefit claim as the landlord is not informed the tenant is claiming the housing benefit. Now why should the landlords get punished???

    Look at the tenant, the tenant offers no security, they just run away with rent, furniture, and appliances, now when these tenants steal and leaves without paying rent then the landlord have to be very worried next time s/he rents out as they don’t want same things happening again. So get the tenant sorted, get the law sorted to protect landlords too just like there is law overprotecting the tenants then see whether the landlord follows and works ethically.

  • steve Sykes 9th February 2010 at 1:59 pm

    The solution is easy, start refusing to take tenants on Job seekers or housing benefit unless they are over 50 years of age, this seems to be the safe line.Or just refuse totally. Hopefully the rules will change with a change of government