Monday, 01 September 2014

Landlord urges tenants to use 'jam jar' accounts

A west midlands landlord is encouraging tenants to set up ‘jam jar’ accounts with a local credit union to help them manage their finances once welfare reforms come into force.

Walsall Housing Group is paying the £18 adminstration fee for tenants who want to set up the accounts with credit union Walsave.

The accounts allow customers to spilt their finances into separate pots so money for household expenditure could be distinct from other savings.

The government’s welfare reforms will mean tenants in receipt of housing benefit who currently have the money paid direct to their landlord will receive payments themselves, raising fears about budgeting.

WHG is also concerned about the impact of the ‘bedroom tax’ on 2,800 of its tenants. This will see housing benefit cut for working age tenants who are deemed to be under-occupying their home.

Mark Causer, welfare reform specialist at WHG, said: ‘We want to ensure our customers know now how the change will affect them and offer them as much support as possible, whether that’s form-filling to help to open a bank account, training to get a job to boost the household income or a search for a smaller home to avoid any rent-short fall imposed by the government.’

Readers' comments (8)

  • Colin McCulloch

    If the tenants never see the housing element of the "Universal Credit" (sic), is there any point in it? One could achieve the same effect by simply changing the hours and taper rules for JSA/ESA/IS, whilst continuing to pay HB direct to landlords and save £7 billion in the process.

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  • Chris

    All good stuff.

    Perhaps they could extend the scheme to the thousands of private sector tenants in their area too - I'm sure those respectful and professional providers of the government's preferred tenure would only be too pleased to help their tenants take advantage of the scheme, and so reduce their own risk to their income streams.

    How about it private landlords - what do you think?

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  • landlords will be dictating what colour underpants their tenants should wear next

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  • What s/he said ^!

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  • What happened to my post here?.... This is the confirmation of the JAMJAR industry, like the Asbo industry now we tenants will have to deal with a flurry of new experts and professionals who will produce nothing but river of drivel and literatures and conferences and training courses... As if there was not already enough advice and leaflets about direct debit and rent cards and a whole lot of schemes or other ways to makes sure we tenants pay the rent on time... If a landlord has opened their eyes and realises that what is happening to tenants is bad they should just oppose it. Instead of standing up for tenants not to have to inflicted more welfare reforms these landlords happily fall into the trap of following the government agenda to make these reforms look 'smoother' or even acceptable if just peppered with some sound sensible advice?... And whose money will pay for this new Jamjar industry, the tenants of course. Which will be the next unproductive industry to be thrown at us tenants for us tenants to pay for?...

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  • Before this post I had another post but it's gone and no reason given.

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  • Why aren't landlords fighting back?surely there must be something that can be done to stop the fools inflicting more stupid none thought through
    regulations.Local gov has there nose in everything and it needs a good thumping.Whats to be done?Any ideas?

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  • Landlords and landlord groups such as the RLA and NLA are fighting against this direct payment rule. Although a number of tenants will be conscientious, there will be a VERY large number who are vulnerable and/or deceitful and use every trick in the big book not to pay the LHA element as rent. It is such common sense as posters have said above, to agree at the beginning of the tenancy for the payment to go to the landlord.

    This will cost nothing for the govt to do this, but the costs for them to insist on making the tenant 'responsible' will be like giving a bottle of vodka to an alcoholic and asking him or her to make their own choice on what they should do.

    Jam jars may be the only option but increased admin costs do mean higher rent.

    Please copy and paste the link below to this common sense petition

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/35479

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