The Difference Between DSS Tenants on Housing Benefit (HB) And Local Housing Allowance (LHA)

DSS Tenants

What’s the difference between Housing Benefit (HB) and Local Housing Allowance (LHA)?

Basically, a tenant receiving financial aid from the council is either on Housing Benefits (HB) or Local Housing Allowance (LHA). The difference can be somewhat crucial for a landlord.

Local Housing Allowance (LHA)
LHA was introduced in April, 2007. It’s is a new way of calculating Housing Benefit (HB) and is based on the area the customer lives, number of occupiers in the property and household size. LHA is a much fairer way of calculating HB, as it ensures that tenants in similar circumstances in the same area receive the same amount of financial support for their housing costs.

Housing Benefit (HB)
So, if LHA is the new way of calculating HB… Yes, you guessed it. HB is the original predecessor. HB is very similar to LHA in the sense that If you’re on a low income and need financial help to pay all or part of your rent, you may be able to get Housing Benefit. However, unlike LHA, HB doesn’t take into account all the variables, so someone living next door to you, in the same position as you, maybe receiving more benefits. So it’s not as fair or as well calculated, hence why it’s been replaced by LHA.

Not everyone has switched over from HB to LHA as yet. If a tenant is already on HB, they will not be affected by LHA unless they change address and move into accommodation rented from a private landlord- that’s when they will be moved onto LHA.

Eventually, HB will be completely abolished, and those landlords taking on new DSS tenants will get LHA tenants, not HB tenants.

How is this relevant?

It’s relevant because the main difference between HB tenants and LHA tenants for a Landlord will be the loss of security. Yes, that’s right. Let me explain…

A few days ago I wrote an article about The Positives Of DSS Tenants, and one of the points was that landlords get paid directly. But apparently that’s not ALWAYS the case anymore…

Those on HB can choose to have their Housing Benefit paid:

  • directly to your landlord
  • to you by cheque
  • by Direct Payment into your bank or building society account

But as I mentioned, HB are past their expiry date, so only landlords that have been holding DSS tenants from before 2007 April have tenants on HB.

Those on LHA will normally have their benefits sent straight into their account (if they have one) or by cheque. Payment is not normally made to the landlord. It is up to the Tenant to pay the rent to the landlord.

If the tenant is worried about managing their money, they can ask their local council if they can help. In some cases they may be able to pay their benefit directly to the landlord.

The conclusion

Did you happen to spot the significant difference between the two?
Landlords with DSS tenants on HB have the luxurious option of having payments being sent directly to them, while the new LHA scheme requires the benefits to be sent directly to the DSS tenant.

BOOM, there goes the landlord’s security, and one out of the two pitiful positives of taking on DSS tenants (other positive being that they’re free).

Apparently the new arrangement is meant to encourage tenants to become independent and manage their own money. I’m pretty sure that a large portion of people on social benefits are on benefits because they are BAD at handling money. So why take the risk? If they want to practice the art of being responsible with money, the council should buy each DSS tenant a game of Monopoly. That way they can practice with fake money and not fuck with real peoples lives!!

DSS tenants are already hard enough to house because of their bad rep; now they’ll be even harder to house due to the loss of security for landlords. It would be interesting to see data on this- how many Landlords have evicted DSS tenants since April 2007 compared to the previous years? I’m assuming the line graph shoots up like an erection…

I know it says that under special circumstances the council will pay directly into the landlord’s account if the LHA tenant is worried about managing their money, but the word on the street is that arranging that is extremely difficult, and rarely happens.

What a pile of crap.

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217 Comments- join the conversation...

Showing 167 - 217 comments (out of 217)
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Midlander 9th September, 2011 @ 22:01

Owl - if you talk to prospective landlords the way you express yourself here, I'm not surprised they don't want to rent their properties to you. And who exactly has been 'bad mouthing' squatters?

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Owl 14th September, 2011 @ 13:25

Theree was a comment earlyer on, I cant find it right now as I am waiting on a test for a job.

The thing is with this site, I dont need to be formal as I am not trying to get a house tbh

Its not that landlords do not want to rent there propertys to me its they dont want to rent it to DSS tendants and thats the issue, Where I live now I have done up his garden and all sorts the landlord is quite satified with how i upkeep the house no problems or issues, Yet someone who had a job robbed me, did not pay there rent yet it seems only people dependant on DSS get this lable. Attack on people who are on benifits much?

Main Stream Media Sucks.

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Leanne 22nd September, 2011 @ 13:41

I believe both landlords and tennants can be troublesome. Not all DSS people are the same and there isn't enough help or landlords willing to accept it. It would solve part of the problem if landlords made it compulsory for DSS people to have written references from every property they have ever lived at and any concerns or issues should be cleared up with that landlord. Atleast they'd get a look in. The council cant help everyone and i know quite a few people who are still living at home with their folks and they are heading on for thirty because they have come to the conclusion that you have to be rich to move out. As for the LHA issue, what is the difference between a DSS person paying in their rent and a working citizen? People who work can be known to hold back money for things like christmas as well because everyone is struggling or will struggle at some point in their life. Either way, rent money has to come from somewhere and you're still at risk of not getting it from a working citizen if theyv had to take days off work due to illness or idleness.

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sandy 28th September, 2011 @ 14:53

need help ive got a 12 mths assured shorthold tenacy agreement with a private landlord who said he is now takin me to court as ive left after only livin there 2 mths first because on bennifit yhe council was draggin there feet over how much rent he ask for also had to go back family prob

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Chris 28th September, 2011 @ 20:13

sandy,

unsure. but why would the landlord go to the expense of sueing you for breach of contract? if you have nog money anyway? as the landlord is unlikely to recoup his 12 months rent.

Sounds like a right muppet & that the landlord hasn't thought it through at all.

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helium 15th October, 2011 @ 17:43

Hi all, I am a landlord and on June 1st I took on a pregnant woman with 2 children aged 6&9. I advertised with an agent because I wanted him to get references off perspective tenants for me. I gave him 5 weeks notice of when my property would become vacant and he found her within the first week. He then stopped advertising the property and the day she was due to move in he decided to tell me that her references wouldn't check out, i.e they wouldn't answer their phones.
I had met with the tenant the previous day and I liked her, I too was pregnant so we had a good chat. She phoned me the day she was due to move in to tell me that the letting agent was not phoning her previous landlord or work referee at the right times and that if he phoned in the evenings which he hadn't done then they would have been able to answer and confirm things.

So instead of paying the agent for a job which he didn't do or risk having my property epmty while he found me somebody else I decided to terminate his services. I then took the tenant on at my own risk and she gave me the references plus 2 months rent (1st and final)and I drew up my own tenancy agreement which we both signed. I then gave her the keys and she moved in. She paid July's rent but that is it, she hasn't paid anymore.

I phoned housing when she didn't pay and they confirmed that she had been receiving LHA from the start. She hadn't told them about her partner that was living with her and she hadn't told them about the new baby. They said when she was 2 months in arrears they would pay me direct.

They sent her letters and because she didn't reply they have stopped her claim so now they will not pay me. I have had complaints off the neighbours about her, she has damaged a kitchen cupboard but will not let me into the property without a warrant of entry no matter how many notices in writing i give her to carry out an inspection. Her work reference turned out to be from her mum and her previous landlord reference was from her mums husband who jointly owns the house in question with her mum.

She has been commiting benefit fraud for years because the 6 year old has the same father as the new baby and thats why she didn't tell housing about him because the same surname would have sparked an investigation.

So she now owes me £1650 in rent plus it will take me another few months to get her out through the courts.

To top it all off the property has now been empty for 2 weeks as she is in a safe house because her partner beat her up again which the neighbours tell me is a regular occurance. She is also only known as a different name by people and not the one she claims under.

My buy to let mortgage still has to be paid and my family is suffering as we have to scrimp and save. All this and my baby is 9 weeks old and feel like I haven't been able to enjoy my time with her as I am constantly worried. I also have 3 other children and a husband who are suffering.

Why should I be made to put a roof over this fraudsters head for free while she continues to damage my property and not even attempt to contact me or answer my letters. The section 8 expired on Oct 7th, but her stuff is still in the property.
She hasn't paid any bills either. The section 21 expires Dec 1st.

Moral: I will never rent to DSS again.

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Chris 15th October, 2011 @ 22:50

helium

That's a horrible situation.
I've had crap landlords when I was younger and some great ones,
I wouldn't say they are all bad. I wouldn't tar all landlords or those on Housing Benefits the same. They are unemployed for a reason.

Buy her a tent for Christmas because that's where she will end up.

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helium 16th October, 2011 @ 11:45

Thanks Chris I know what u mean, but I can't afford to take that risk ever again. Once I ger her out I think I will just sell the place.

I am so sick of being skint. I used to live in the property up until 6 years ago when we had to move out to be nearer the school that I wanted my little boy to go to. I couldn't get a good price for it because there is no parking but it is a good big house. We just spent £10000 on it doing it up before she moved in and it was far smarter than when i lived in it. I had a new pvc front door put in for her in the first week she moved in because i remembered the draft that used to come in the wooden one. I should have saved my money as she doesn't appreciate anything :(

She was full of promises and now she is just full of threats.

I can't believe it, we spent all this time and money on it making it perfect and then along comes a fraudster and they can just wreck it on you, upset the neighbours, Pay no rent or bills and still it takes months to get rid of them. It's just not fair.

The council will not rehome her but I bet they would come down on me like a tonne of bricks if i didn't evict her through the courts and cost myself more time and money. So it looks like it is my job to keep a free roof over her head. Lucky me hey?

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Midlander 16th October, 2011 @ 14:50

Helium
That is a dreadful story and I feel for you. However, surely the comment that the work reference person had to be contacted only in the evenings (??) should have rung an alarm bell?

A friend of mine rented her house to a Nigerian lawyer (with impeccable references, of course!) who also only paid the first month's rent. He also turfed all her furniture out into the garden, and it was destroyed by rain & inclement weather. It's also costing her an arm & a leg to get him out, and he had nothing to do with DSS. So there are good & bad tenants everywhere, I'm afraid, it just seems to the luck of the draw!

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Chris 17th October, 2011 @ 01:03

I was lead to believe that Housing Benefit was for those on other Welfare benefits like Job Seekers Allowance.

And that Local Housing Allowance was for those on low paid jobs.

Am I wrong?

or

Am I correct?

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Paul 17th October, 2011 @ 06:52

Don't take this the wrong way Chris, but if you're a landlord. I suggest you don't go renting out your property until you've gone to the DirectGov website and familiarised yourself with the benefit system.

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owl 17th October, 2011 @ 19:29

this would not even be a issue if the government did not sell off tons of council houses without investing in new ones. Not to mention there are more unused houses than there are homeless

I have some friends who are squatters trying to help solve this issue, they go into empty abandoned houses/factorys/shops one group is even in a abandoned shopping center.

They have gone in started to rebuild it some of which have jobs they all pay there bills they have made a cinema in one of them yet the government attacked them during the royal wedding, I was at one squat protesting outside to be let back in, everyone was arrested they had all there equipment taken from them without a list of everything the police took, we also spotted some of there laptops smashed up.

The police tried to get the landlord to throw them out but the landlord wants and lets them be there as they keep drug addicts, drunks, vandalizers out as well as keep the property from being unusable.

since they first moved in they have redone all the electrics, fixed some stairs, turned a roof area into a garden, painted all the walls, fixing some of the ceilings, flooring up as a lot of the wood had rotted and electrics were no longer suitable for computers and laptops saving the landlord tons of cash they also refitted a kitchen in the communal area.

Yet this dose not get shown in the media

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Mike 31st October, 2011 @ 17:43

As someone who has always been employed (and remain so) I and my family have recently fallen into the "benefits trap".
I was,until 4 years ago, on what was cosidered a quite good wage but by no means a high earner.As a result of the circumstances that have affected so many of us in recent times I now find myself in a poorly paid but professional job (I work for the ambulance Service,NHS not private)However because property prices in our area are so high, both rental and sale prices, we have had no option but to go onto LHA although we by no means receive the full amount it does help to pay our rent with whichwe would otherwise struggle.
Whilst there is no doubt in my mind that there are terrible tenants out there, they are not all as a result of being on benfits and there are probably just as manywho are in receipt of no benefits at all. Equally there are just as many rogue landlords, who to be honest are better protected than their tenants. After all a landlord,for a small insurance premium, can protect their income regardless of whether the tenant pays or not.On the other hand if a tenant is being treated badly by a landlord and refuses to carry out repairs or maintenance IAW the Tenanacy Agreement and the law of the land, the tenant has the right to compalin and take certain prescribed actions but does so knowing that they risk eviction.
We Moved into our current rental property almost three years ago and all contracts and agreements have been legitimate and above board via a registered and recognised letting agent. The property itself is fairly basic and was riddled with problems and despite the agreement being in place being a large educational establishment within the village of Writtle, they either delayed or refused to carry out the work required. We as tenants loved being here and decided to undertake as much ofthe work as we could ourselves.Now the standard that we are happy with has beenreached,guess what, we are being evicted. We havenever been behind in our paymets, but they say theywant the property back for staff,this despite the property being empty for three years prior to iour tenancy and the one next door being empty for the last 6 months.
I know this has been along post but I would just like to point out again that there are good and bad tenants across the financial spectrum and godd and bad landlords too. Not everyone should be tarred with the same brush simply because they find themselves less fortunate than others

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Midlander 31st October, 2011 @ 20:03

Mike, did your landlord/agent put your deposit into a Deposit Protection Scheme? If not, you can zap him/them, through the local county court, for the amount of the deposit + three x this amount. If you take the landlord to court for this breach then the courts must make the landlord pay you back the original deposit plus an amount of 3 times the deposit itself. Check it out - it may be a way to get your own back!

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Mike 1st November, 2011 @ 01:49

Hi Midlander
Thanks for advice,but yes, everything has been done correctly, including the deposit being put into a rent deposit scheme. Just annoys me that This landlord in particular seems to think that they can treat tenants as they wish. Many of their staff live in houses provided by them and are also treated equally badly, themain difference being that they don't pay any rent. We have been paying £825 per monthand carrying out most of the repairs / upgrades ourselves because they lead us to believe taht we would be able to have this property for a good few years. May seem naive but we took that intimation in good faith. We have had a previous Landlord who told us the same thing andthen returned from Austalia 2 years later saying she wanted her house back.
In this case we are not taking it laying down. We will appeal to to the Estate Manager, and then the college principle. If that fails we will leave the house exactly as we found it(prior to repairs etc) and have also been advised that because they failed to meet their contractual obligations we can sue for compensation.
Has anybody else gone down this route and if so did you have any success

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Cardifflandlord 1st November, 2011 @ 08:37

Re: zapping for 3 times deposit.

Not true due to a recent legal precedent.

Judge ruled that as long as the LL made the deposit before the court date not fine could be levied essentially making the deposit protection services obsolete.

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Worried Landlord 3rd November, 2011 @ 10:40

I have had a tennant for 10 years+ payment of rent has not been regular but always paid in the end (due to me working away ). Now I am semi retired the tennant tells me she has been dismissed from her job,not in the best of health, and the DSS will now be paying her rent (not my choice).As she will have to make up the shortfall I am concerned where this will come from? can anyone advise what I have to do now ref. council tax and where the rent is paid to.Any advice would be valued

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Chris 3rd November, 2011 @ 12:57

Worried Landlord,

There is such a thing as rent insurance it might be worth looking into.

http://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/landlord-insurance-quotes/

Plus below is the insurance name...

Rent Guarantee and Legal Expenses Insurance.

Ask more for more info on here..

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Cardifflandlord 3rd November, 2011 @ 13:56

@Worried Landlord: Rent insurance will only be accepted after a satisfactory credit check on the client.

I think worried landlord you have missed the opportunity here and will struggle to get insurance after the fact. You should not have to do anything. Payments will be direct to client but I would seriously consider getting them to sign a document authorising council to pay you direct. Also council tax should be sorted by tenant/council.

If you are worried then you are going to have to issue section 21 notice to recover property.

Instead of asking us why not ask the tenant how she intends to make up the shortfall? That would be the logical course of action surely as well as a matter of basic courtesy.

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hate rogue tenants 5th November, 2011 @ 20:41

@Airedale comment 142

Thanks for your great thoughts, I totally agree with you. I have been done over not only by the Dss rogue tenant but the whole system, the local authority don't give a shit about private landlords and will not support them and will always side up with rent dodging tenants !! piss takers all for them

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shaun 5th November, 2011 @ 21:43

I have been on Housing Benefit and paid all my rent on time and explain to Ex-landlord if there were any problems and how long it would take to sort out the claim. The only thing was, he said that all fine until he found out I was gay. He got one off his tenant to get me out of the flat. There was no police help, the council did not worry to much. Plus I lots all off my items. So people cant just say it people on HB, you do get bad landlords too.

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Suzy 23rd November, 2011 @ 13:18

The person who wrote this article must be the most ill educated human being ever!

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David Booth 24th November, 2011 @ 21:10

LHA, HB or what ever you call it theres a new solution for landlords & tennants.

I would like to take my time to introduce you to our new company Tasker Payment Services. The company is designed as a one of it's kind payment service for DSS claimants and their landlords. Customers who do not have a bank account, or have large overdrafts eating into their Local Housing Allowance can use our service to have the peace of mind that their rent is paid straight to their landlord's bank account on time, every time.
With much experience in dealing with such payments, landlords can rely on Tasker Payment Services to provide them and their tenants with a reliable and secure way of receiving their rent.
We are fully registered with the FSA (registration number 564939) and can be found on the FSA's register of payment service providers.

The idea behind our company is simple the tennant agrees to pay our company (Tasker Payment Services) the money they get from the LHA and the landlord gets paid from us fortnightly. All we take £4.00 transaction fee for transferring the money to the landlords bank account.
This also helps out the council because they dont have to deal with arrears and it could help the council because more landlords would want to register because they know they are going to get paid.
If you would like to visit our website http://taskerpaymentservices.co.uk/ and read a little more about us if you have any questions please feel free to ask.

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Midlander 24th November, 2011 @ 22:32

David, you say:

"the tennant (sic) agrees to pay our company the money they get from the LHA"

But a tenant, when they sign a tenancy agreement, agrees to pay this money to their landlord anyway, and this does not always happen... does it?! What does your comapny do for its £4-per-transaction? Does it pay the landlord anyway if the tenant does not fulfil his/her agreement with you? And do you then undertake to chase up the tenant for the dosh?

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Jane 24th November, 2011 @ 23:33

I make sure anyone on HB agrees, and signs to say they do, to open a Credit Union account so the HB is paid into it. The Credit Union then pay the rent direct to me. I also get them to sign to say I can discuss any issues with the HB dept. In some areas you pay nothing, in other areas you may pay a nominal fee of around £5 per transaction. Maybe not perfect, but it helps to minimise the risk of non-payment of rent

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Chris 25th November, 2011 @ 13:12

David Booth,

Tasker,

Great idea.
So you act as escrow? the payment is paid into an account that the benefits receiver cant spend from?

I could make you a great website.

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deppressed landlord 29th November, 2011 @ 21:44

@HELIUM 172
i am in a similar situation to you at the moment and i feel your pain. my section 8 has expired too and the tenant is staying put, obviously they have played this game over and over again and know the system. my tenant is in over £3000 rent arears and the council have taken the pisss and have continued to pay rent to the tenant despite my pleas..well i got in touch with the local councillor and she has been very supportive and got onto the housing benefit straight away and now finally the housing benefit has been redirected to myself. i dont know how long this will continue because my tenant keeps twisting the councils arm because they have made a decision to pay me previously then went back on their word and paid the tenant instead off me, these scums will be out sooner or later and we have learnt the hard way by getting our hands burnt the first time...but in the longer run they have made us a stronger person cz in the future we know all the tricks these scums play in order to scam and scrounge off you, best of luck and hang in there x

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maskedman 17th December, 2011 @ 12:46

Airedale,
what you said about "I have a lot of experience with tenants who complain of damp in every room"

you are totally right at your hazard a guess that the building is perhaps of the age and yes it does mean a severe case of a lack of ventilation.

I lived in a 2 bedroom house, and that whole place was very well ventilated, but still wall paper peeled off, the roof collapsed in to my bathroom, and the ceiling in the kitchen was water damaged, dont even get me started on the basement. .

"If you are constantly washing clothes and drying them" - yh i would agree that it escapes into the walls, but what about when you put your washing outside? whatever the weather

my 2bedroom house had old single wooden pained windows, and most of the downstairs ones were nailed shut by the landlord, the ones that opened, were always opened, but still all them problems happened, even black mould spots. my husband had developed breathing problems, and i was ill alot.

the landlord said to me exactly what you said about not ventilating, but i did, and when i got a health inspecor around, he said he would advise we move out, and the landlord got a letter to do the house up to current standards.

sometimes it is not the tenants fault, its the landlords

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helium 19th December, 2011 @ 13:01

Hi there depressed landlord. We just changed the locks on Dec 1st when her tenancy ended. Place is a bit of a mess and all her stuff is still there. At least i know she will not get in again, and if she wants to sue then she can go ahead but she will never step foot in my house ever again.
I think i will try to sell it now. I'm fed up of the place now.
I hope your situation gets sorted.
I'm just going through the single claims procedure now to get £550 deposit back (it was taken in advance for the last months rent but the RLA told me to protect it so that it didn't look like a disguised deposit). I hope she doesn't make it difficult.

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Midlander 27th January, 2012 @ 22:48

I wonder if landlords (and tenants!) know that from 1 January 2012, all young people under the age of 35 will only be paid the DLA 'shared accommodation' rate when they make a new claim?
There are some exceptions, see here...
http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/paying_for_a_home/housing_benefit_and_local_housing_allowance/housing_benefit_if_you_are_under_35?SQ_DESIGN_NAME=print
I only came across this by accident!

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Paul 28th January, 2012 @ 10:22

By now Local Authorities should've written to all HB/LHA claimants, and landlords who are paid direct in relation to this regulation change.
My opinion is this is an ill thought out piece of legislation that borders on age discrimination (at best).
Are you aware that the single room rent (SRR) doesn't apply to single under 35 year olds that live in council accommodation?
Clearly one set of rules for private landlords and another for the council, it's unbelievable how this regulation has been introduced when it's clearly unfair on many levels.
If you are a decent hardworking, law abiding under 35 year old earning a low wage and require assistance with your rent, you're going to have to find a cheap rental somewhere and struggle. BUT if you have a criminal record and come under MAPPA you won't have to worry because the under 35 SRR won't apply to you. Who says crime doesn't pay!

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Jane 31st March, 2012 @ 08:12

Yes, back to the discussion.... I have just found out that there is a National Initiative (oh, not another one!) that will enable landlords to have the rent paid directly to them. If the rent on the property matches the tenants' entitlement ie the LHA rate, the rent can be paid to the landlord. So, for example, if you are letting a 2 bedroomed property to people who are entitled to 2 bedrooms (check housing entitlements and LHA rates on the local Council website)you should get the rent paid to you directly. I have DSS tenants, one of whom has her rent money direct and who I have to regularly remind to pay it . Perhaps it's worth looking into - I only came across the info by chance and called the Council to check it out and found it was right.

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Midlander 31st March, 2012 @ 11:10

The trouble is, Jane, that so many landlords complain that the HB people take so long to sort out the benefit (weeks in some cases, although that has never been my experience) that they won't wait for their money if the tenant can't pay in the meantime.

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Jane 31st March, 2012 @ 15:41

Yes, Midlander I have heard this but as long as the tenants are eligible for their rent, it would be back-paid to the claim date by the HB Department of the council. It is interesting that you also found information (under 35's shared accommodation, excluding council tenants)by accident, like me! I wonder what else we don't know?? Hmm.

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Missy 4th May, 2012 @ 11:56

"Which is £1375 per bastard."
Made me chuckle.

I cannot understand for a millisecond why any payment which is meant for rent is not paid directly to the landlord. Aren't the council or the government in charge of the decision shooting themselves in the foot? If people can't manage their money tough shit. Why make other peoples lives hard? Like The Lanlord says, give them a game of monopoly or let them play shop with plastic coins. It's not fucking hard anyway, pay your rent and bills them do what you want with the rest.

When the rent money is spent and no landlord will accept the tenant the council are responsible for rehousing them. They are just pushing these people through a revolving door!

I've been on housing benefit for a short period as well as partially because we are classed as having low income. We always paid our rent in full on time and kept a clean and tidy house. Just incase people want to berrate me for saying 'these people'.

I just can't be arsed to write anything different.

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Martyn 15th May, 2012 @ 15:48

Having been in the same predicament and no i'm not a bad payer or a long term collector of the benefit system.

Paying direct to a landlord is and always has been the best thing that can secure any unfortunate person on benefits of one kind or another a reasonable tenancy.
The latest way of doing it is just hypocritical as if you have a private landlord you are meant to collect the rent yourself then pass it on to him, if on the other hand you are a council tenant receiving the same benefits they do not pay you the rent to pay them back.
If they are gonna make rules then they should be standard across the board, not pick and choose which ones apply on a convenient basis.

And as for trying to have it paid direct to the landlord you need an exeptionaly good reason to do so, in my wifes case it was mental health and even that required a letter from the doctor.

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buy coenzyme a 21st June, 2012 @ 17:31

Well said!

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Remedios Nunnenkamp 28th June, 2012 @ 10:04

Hi! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading through your posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same topics? Thank you!

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Midlander 25th July, 2012 @ 17:34

I have thought of a good comeback to those agencies/landlords who demand a guarantor; say yes, on the condition that a reference check is provided on the landlord, at his expense.

Why should tenants be the only ones who are not trusted? There are as many bad landlords as there are tenants! [insert evil smiley devil face here]

I'm serious though - and I'm sure agencies would just love to jump on this latest money-making bandwagon! Charge landlord £150 to be reference checked? Lovely jubbly.

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BuzzProperties 29th November, 2012 @ 00:34

I fell upon thsi article and I am so glad I did, I needed a good laugh. Not only does the fact that a tenant receive LHA or HB not mean they are going to be bad tenants, but its also clear that you have no idea as to how or what LHA is.

I also find the comment "benefits because they are BAD at handling money" is so far off the mark, its just laughable, especially in the current economic climate. You also need to remember that following the recent RICS report it showed that it was actually the Buy to Let and over valuing that has caused the economy to collapse, not people on benefits.

So in short, get your facts right before you go writing nonsense. I only hope you dont need state help someday as so many people do through no fault of their own.

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Valerie 23rd September, 2013 @ 11:42

i came across this page by accident and upon reading the blogs am glad i did.
Not only have some you have no idea what you are talking about, some of you are living in the dark ages.
People on benefit are not bad with they money NO. Are some of you not aware of what is going on in regards to the large redundancy that is going on out there. Well i am on one of those people after working 21 year for a local Authority. Now am on benefit while i obtain new employment. Does that make me bad in handling money no. Some of you will say why sign on if you are looking for a new job and you just got a pay out. Well if i dont sign on i will be liable to pay tax for that period of which i will not be able to provide proof to the Tax man that i was not working but seeking work for that period be it 2 weeks or 5 months.
In regards to Landlords - i have something to say to you guys. I would like anyone these days to show me a job which you can guarantee is for life. NONE. Yet a working person is not expected to pay high deposits or get a guarantor or do you get a letter from they employers to confirm that they employment is for life. You ask a HB / LHA tenant to get a guarantor who earns £30,000 or more a year if they had friends like that they would not need to sign on. Which friend ever yourself Landlords who sign your property over to someone else to secure they accommodation with fears of losing your own. NO ONE WILL.
I understand you need this to secure the risk you are taking but you are taking this risk regardless of whom you are renting the property to.
You talk about risk what about risk to us. I am here looking for an accommodation of which i signed a 5 year tenancy and have been paying my rent on time and have made the house my home for these two years spent over £5000 on works in the property on agreement between myself and the landlord to lower the rent if i carried out the works needed in this ex drug dealer house. I have replaced all the carpet, plastered all the walls decorated the whole place put in a new kitchen and bathroom and have made it my home to now be Evicted by the mortgage lenders as my landlord has not been paying his mortgage for the past 18 months. Now my landlord is no where to be found i cant even get my £2000 deposit that i paid. So to all the landlords out there what guarantee did i get.
So Landlords it goes both ways you want some form of security for your properties tenant need ones as well. So as you are unable to provide that proof to your tenant i dont see why you should ask for one.
Remember not everyone on benefit is a loser someone of us are here through no fault of our own it is how the system works.

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Helen 2nd October, 2013 @ 22:58

Valerie - I hate to say this, but I think you were terribly naive investing so much effort & money in a rented house!!

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Rommel 3rd October, 2013 @ 06:28

All I can say is... Lord, please send me tenants like Valerie! Unfortunately, I have had more negative experience than positive concerning HB/LHA - not only with tenants but also with councils; sorry, but that's just how it is, so forgive me if I'm now being a bit cautious wanting guarantors etc. I take my responsibilities to my mortgage lenders very seriously, I'm not a charity. All I ask is that the tenants take their responsibilities to pay the rent and keep the house clean and tidy seriously also. After all, when your fingers get burned, you don't put them back in the fire now, do you? Some people spoil it for the rest!

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OMBUDSMAN 25th November, 2013 @ 11:58

Oi, Leanne,
The money to pay rent, that comes from a working person is 'private money. - Any housing benefit cash, is money that comes from the PUBLIC PURSE!
Your comparison is false based.

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Midlander 25th November, 2013 @ 12:17

@ Ombudsman
I hear what you're saying, but it's still just as likely that a working person may not pay the rent, despite where the money comes from! Most rents are paid by standing order from the bank, and if there is not the money in the bank, the rent will not get paid. Judging by the amount of 'payday loans' being taken out by working people these days, that may happen a lot!

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dan 9th May, 2014 @ 07:32

Hi ive been living in my flat for 1 year and lost my job . And now am getting housing benift . But the landlord dose not no . Should I tell him or just keep him in the dark the forums I filed in said I didn't have to tell him or will he find out ?

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dex 16th May, 2015 @ 01:02

How much are you taking mate? That pick me up higher than thou drug? For godsake how dare you imply that people on benefits are mostly rubbish? Someone obviously had no love as a kid to come out with icy cold bollock crap that you dribble from that filthy mouth I hope you never kiss your mum with it anyway. Did you know that most landlords private let are wankers too? They are tight and stuck up bitches who think they own the street or block rather than the home and in my experience of renting dont have a fucking clue how to be a human being never mind responsible landlord, if you go doctor mate give you a sick note and anti venom tablet for your vile nature and hopefully it will help you to die! What a tosser you are........

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Jose Simoes 27th November, 2015 @ 16:08

I am an guy which been several occasions abused, discriminated and frauded by British Law who in many areas of living in society and working not fellow the Directives of EU thats why should be out that includes also of the free circulation and I explain why: first never see an nation deal with verbal tenancies thats where start the game of corruption and criminality unfortunately I am an witness of it, in my country when you pay something we receive an guarantee of the payment which should apply to an contract of services or an grocery etc here the law allow people lier about incomes on business, leave people stolen money from others using cash for later say doesn't pay them the rent and much more abuses!
Law on tenancies can be AST for 6 or 12 months with 1 month notice for tenants and 2 months for the landlord, could be lodgers and this very on classification but Councils where people have patrimony and money corrupt the classifications for leave people who rent in needs and in the streets!
I come to UK 13 years ago and I got more of 24 moves of home all use the law to abuse under foreigners, when I save some a little money landlord accion the termination and 2 months or 1 month not enough to catch an new tenancy and maybe circunstances change and we not accepted because of it, because the society British discriminate and abuse under the law and in little months we are on bankruptancy!
When we are single mens, no kids on your side the abuses are higher then anybody else.

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Rebekah Evans 2nd December, 2015 @ 19:07

I am on benefits because I am ill and unable to work, not because i am bad at managing money. I would also point out that many people have been made redundant due to the economic climate and forced to claim benefits, and not because they are bad at managing their money. Though of course, I will admit that there are some people who ruin it for the rest of us, and then we get tarred with the same brush.
When I moved into my flat just over two years ago (2012, and after this switch to LHS you're talking about), I was given the option of having my rent money paid directly to me or to my housing association. I chose the latter, again not because i am bad at managing my money, but because a) it is easier, i.e. why pay an unnecessary shell game with my rent money when it can just be given directly to the people it has to go to, and b) because I sometimes have legitimate problems with my memory due to medication. Through a system of reminders and standing orders, this has not stopped me paying all my other bills on time. I have never gotten into arrears with anything under my control.
It was not difficult at all to arrange for the council to pay my rent directly. It was a simple question on my application form. I'm not sure why you believe it to be so awkward.
However, I would like to state how the present system of No DSS tenants has made life rather difficult for me. I desperately need to move. I have developed anxiety problems and a rather depressing case of agoraphobia. I live in a building with two main roads front and back, and this exacerbates my problems with going outside due to how loud and busy it is. There is noise at all times and for a number of reasons, my neighbour frightens me. I can't seem to find anywhere to move to. Suitable properties with my housing association are infrequent, and my other avenues are blocked because most landlords will not accept DSS tenants. I admit I didn't understand this attitude till I read a few articles on this site. It is true that landlords have legitimate concerns with doing so, it's just right now it's making a bad situation worse, not just for me, but for many people. It truly is a broken system.

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Jenny Douglas 10th November, 2016 @ 13:43

There is something very wrong about your assumption that people who are on benefits do not know how to manage their money. Ridiculous. Obvs there are a variety of reasons why someone can need support from local authority: disabled, working single mothers etc. Just because you may receive a direct payment doesn't mean you will run off and spend that money elsewhere. Private renters could also get paid and spend all their wages in the pub. It depends on what kind of person that you are and how responsible you are. I guess there are some dss recipients that give other good hard working recipients a bad name, but still not enough for such a ridiculous assumption to be made.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 10th November, 2016 @ 14:12

@Jenny
The Government's argument for introducing LHA (i.e. direct payment's to the tenant) was to encourage tenants to become independent and manage their own money.

The Government made the "ridiculous assumption", not me.

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