Sunday, 26 October 2014

Getting tenants to pay arrears when on HB

Posted in: Need to Know | Ask the Experts

06/08/2011 6:50 pm

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26/08/2011 4:43 pm

I work in A youth hostel in West London and the rent is £158.63 per week which includes bills, clients have their own cooking facilities but have to share bathroom facilities.

I would say this is high.

Am I out of touch?

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Location: London
Posts: 13

26/08/2011 7:41 am

HA rents are far from too high. They are subsidised by the taxpayer. If you think HA rents are too high, what about market rates then? 

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26/08/2011 1:51 am

Perhaps the rent is too high?

It is often so high as to discourage people from working.

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26/08/2011 1:50 am

Arrange a realistic repayment plan, if somebody can ill afford the rent, they will struggle to repay it all at once, court costs benefit neither the landlord or tenant.

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26/08/2011 1:22 am

Helping someone on HB with arrears, I discovered that one major problem was that while the HB was paid direct to the landlord, the rent rises were not reported by the landlord to the HB department - this is not allowed. The tenant had health problems that made it impossible for him to cope with this seemingly minor piece of bureaucracy, and rent arrears built up. The rent arrears letters from the landlord were terrifying to the tenant so were hidden and ignored.  The larger the arrears the more terrifying the situation became to the tenant. The landlord's letters were fierce and over-officious from the start.  For people who cannot cope with rent and rent rises for whatever reason, and for tenants who request it, the option should be available to have both handled between landlord and HB office, with the tenant being kept informed. 

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Expert post

Mike Wilkins

Mike Wilkins

Posts: 45

18/08/2011 6:11 pm

Normally I would write to tenants in arrears a sort of 'stage one' letter, given that this is a relatively small amount, i.e.
 "I see you are in arrears of £X  please could you make arrangements to pay this sum by ....
It might make sense to check that the Housing Benefit claim was up to date.
Big arrears always start small, so its good to be on the case early - there might be a big problem lurking behing that small sum.
With one weeks arrears you cannot take legal action but there may be an odd amount that has been missed in the past.
Find out when the arrears started, it mignt have been on the books for ages without the tenant knowing about it. Mike

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Housing Manager

Housing Manager

Posts: 21

17/08/2011 1:06 pm

Need to have 4 weeks arrears fo rdirect deductions

Just give them a chance to pay by instalments, if they don't serve a NOSP. That should get them to pay. If not take them to court, so they can have the court costs on top.

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Rick Campbell

Rick Campbell

Location: Macclesfield CHESHIRE
Posts: 424

08/08/2011 12:14 pm

Through direct deductions from their state benefits may be an option ?

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