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Housing benefit issue

(10 Posts)
onadifferentplanet Sun 08-Feb-15 09:41:52

I get housing benefit at the moment as I unable to work due to a health issue. Until last summer it was paid direct to my landlord (HA) by the council. I was then visited by someone from housing who told me in future I would get my money from the council and it would be my responsibility to pay them. I wasn't completely happy as I liked the security of knowing it was paid but I have been doing it successfully this way ever since.

Last month the money was received a day later than usual from the council , they sent me a letter saying this was going to happen so as soon as I received the money as normal I paid it through the allpay system as before. I do not know how long an allpay payment takes to show up on their system.
Yesterday I received a letter saying as I was four weeks in arrears they intended to serve a notice to seek possession on me and would be coming to do so on Friday of this week. This letter was dated Tuesday the day on which I paid my rent so at the moment there are no arrears. However as my HB is paid four weekly by the time they come on Friday in their eyes I will again be one week in arrears despite them knowing my rent is paid 4 weekly in arrears and has never been an issue before. Can they still do this when they know the rent will be paid as usual when I receive it?

StAndrewsDay Sun 08-Feb-15 09:52:51

Have you actually bothered to ring them up and explain, and offered to show them a copy of the letter from the council? confused

If this HB payment made to you is always going to be one day later from now on then why don't you just ask your LL (or the managing agent) if you can set up a direct debit to go out of your account the day after the HB payment is made to you? I doubt very much they would have any issue with it being two days later than it says on the tenancy agreement, providing they are receiving it regularly and there is a good reason for the date change.

Sometimes the management company acting for the landlord will have a computer system that will automatically send out correspondence like this as soon as it recognises a payment (on the usual day) has been missed.

It would be very unusual to be served notice for possession after being only a matter of days late. Technically you are not 4 weeks in arrears yet, are you? You will only be four weeks in arrears once you are due for a second payment. Usually they just write or ring to chivvy you up a bit, at least for the first month.

Pinkandpurplehairedlady Sun 08-Feb-15 09:57:14

I would ring the HA and let them know the issue. Mine is pretty understanding when it comes to housing benefit delays.

GratefulHead Sun 08-Feb-15 10:00:08

I think k this is harsh and if it's a HA I am surprised at they have gone so quickly to a threat of eviction. My HB is paid in arrears too and occasionally I get a letter from the HA. Usually I will clear what is owed as it isn't much.
However, they have a chain of actions with regard to how they proceed and
I suspect your HA will have the same.
It's worth phoning them tomorrow to see if this letter has Beene sent in error.

StAndrewsDay Sun 08-Feb-15 10:05:13

Sorry, missed that it was an HA. I imagine the letter has been generated automatically then, as they will be dealing with many, many tenants. I would be AMAZED if a HA were not completely understanding about this, you just need to communicate with them so they can put an amendment on your account, otherwise all they see is that the computer says 'No.'

onadifferentplanet Sun 08-Feb-15 10:19:05

I will be calling them first thing tomorrow, it was just sods law that the letter arrived on a Saturday giving me all weekend to stress about it.

StAndrewsDay Sun 08-Feb-15 11:11:49

Are you 100% sure that you are only a day or two late and that somewhere in the crossover you didn't accidentally miss a payment?

SoonToBeSix Sun 08-Feb-15 11:15:55

No I think you read the letter wrong. HA computers automatically issue letters saying you are at risk of repossession. Are you sure that's not what your letter said?

PersonalClown Sun 08-Feb-15 11:24:54

Ring your HA and talk to them.
Be prepared for them to ask you to start paying a little more so that you will be in credit.

When we had to claim HB last year, my HA was starting to ask people to overpaying slightly so they could start to build rent credit in time for Universal Credit being phased in.

Didn't bother me so much as I pay my rent weekly so only needed to be a week in credit but I did ask about those on HB that pay 4 weekly and the answer was that they needed 4 weeks of credit.

Unescorted Sun 08-Feb-15 11:27:57

You can opt to have the HB paid direct to your HA if you prefer.

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