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Housing benefit claim - how long?

(5 Posts)
Karak Fri 06-Oct-17 15:09:03

Can anyone here give me an idea how long it normally takes for a housing benefit claim to come through? What happens if lease etc are in ex partners name?

Background to this is I'm the landlord not the tenant but trying to work out how long is reasonable to expect it all to take (relationship breakdown, new housing benefit application). I don't want to have to evict my tenant but I also don't want to be taken advantage of. Agents have served two months notice but I'm hoping housing benefit can be sorted in the meantime (as I assume she will need social housing and so will need to be formally evicted plus notice is due to expire end of December so that makes for a horrible Christmas for her and family).

Thanks

Becca19962014 Fri 06-Oct-17 20:33:17

They'll get nothing if the lease isn't in their name. Here the LA require a copy of the lease to apply along with identity checks, it can take months if anything is amiss. I don't know about other areas but in mine they wouldn't pay, not just for a few weeks whilst notice is served.

If they had a new lease with their name on it and at least six months there wouldn't be a problem - I appreciate that may not be what you want to do, just saying here they wouldn't pay just for a few weeks. It would also be local housing allowance so not necessarily the whole rent (unless it's low for the area) as it's based on the number of rooms they're assessed as needing.

I don't know if that helps. Like I said, it varies!

Karak Sun 08-Oct-17 06:53:42

Thanks and damn. I don't think I can risk signing a new lease if she might not be able to pay as I end up in the first six months fixed term again.

Housing benefit will easily cover the rent if she's entitled to a three bedroom, however if only a two bed she'd need to top up about GBP 20 a month plus agent has highlighted she's working so probably won't get the full amount.

Babyroobs Sun 08-Oct-17 10:27:48

a housing benefit claim is usually sorted quickly within a week or two. However many area are now switching over to Universal credit ( of which housing is an element) and people are having horrendous problems. Firstly there is a six week wait for the first payment meaning people can't pay their rent and are getting into arrears. If your tenants are on universal credit ( and may have just made a first claim )then it would be nice to show some leniency as people are experiencing awful problems beyond their control.

Karak Sun 08-Oct-17 11:07:55

I don't think it's a UC area

Happy to show leniency (and I am - realistically I'm going to end up writing off the arrears) but at then end of the day I need a tenant who can afford the rent long term and it's not clear she can. If it's going to end up in a possession hearing anyway I'd prefer to lose three months rent than six plus!

I've asked the agent to see if she can find a guarantor. I am not a shit and don't want to throw her out but also I'm not a charity and she needs to pay her rent.

As has happened before (with another tenant), she hasn't helped herself by not actively dealing with it/responding and instead just not paying and having to be tracked down via a family member to find out what's going on. If she'd told me at the beginning we'd probably be closer to having a new lease and housing benefit sorted.

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