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LANDLORD EVICTION THREAT for Housing Benefit Delay. Only just applied for it !

(7 Posts)
milkmonster Wed 19-Aug-09 00:34:11

I sent my original Housing Benefit (HB) application in 2 days after I moved into my new house.

I only put a 2nd class stamp on, so it was underpaid and HB haven't received it.

So I had to make a new application 2 weeks later, but HB won't allow me to backdate my claim unless I can prove the date I sent the first application in. I can't because I didn't send it tracked and it was never returned to my address as underpaid anyway,depsite my return label on it.

The letting agents are considering Eviction because I haven't 'paid the rent', despite my explaining to them there is always a delay whilst HB is processed but the rent is all backdated eventually. I can't afford to pay the rent meanwhile as it cost me nearly £2000 in downpayments and removals to secure this house, which took 9 months to save up for and I don't have the income to afford to pay £560 rent each month out of my own pocket.

Does anyone know if the lettings agents have a legal right to do this? I'm also concerned as I have a Guarantor and I desperately don't want him to now become viable, as Guarantors are supposed to be. It's just a matter of waiting for my HB claim to be processed and the letting agents have had HB tenants before so are aware of the delays.

I fully expect to be asked to move on now in 6 months when the Assured Shorthold Tenancy is up because of this kerfuffle :-(

Any views, anyone?hmm

Anonymumandlikeit Wed 19-Aug-09 00:38:07

I would contact CAB for advice.

milkmonster Wed 19-Aug-09 00:52:40

Last time I went to CAB, I sat in the waiting room with a fractious toddler for 2 hours, to then be seen by a teenage volunteer who browsed the internet NOT INTRANET! to advise me. I could have done that myself at home shock

NanaNina Wed 19-Aug-09 01:25:29

It sounds like the letting agents are being totally unreasonable and should accept that your HB claim has been a little delayed and that the rent willbe back dated once the claim is sorted.

I can't imagine how they could possibly evict you. In any event there is a long process before eviction including going to court for a repossession order etc. Are you going to be 2 weeks short of the rent because of your delayed claim?

You will be able to get advice from SHELTER so I would try them or CAB. Sounds like someone had a bad experience at CAB but that is very unusual and I would not be put off by that one experience someone had.

TheLadyEvenstar Wed 19-Aug-09 01:35:54

They can begin eviction proceedings if you are more than 2 months in arrears. I know i am having same with my landlord but difference is he is leaving us in bad conditions.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 19-Aug-09 01:53:04

Erm, for how many months have you not paid the rent? I know some folk get HB and that it's a PITA to set up, I know plenty of landlords who won't rent to those on HB, but it's not in any way unreasonable for a landlord to expect his/her tenant to pay rent on time, as agreed in your contract.

If your landlord is depending on your timely rental payments to meet his/her mortgage obligations, you could find yourself evicted through repossession anyway.

I'm not unsympathetic, btw, a good friend of mine was recently threatened with eviction because she hadn't applied for HB etc when she should have done, and ended up with three months' arrears (the trigger point in Scotland). Everything was explained to the landlord, and it's all OK now.

As to eviction, you (I presume) have a six-month lease, renewable monthly thereafter. It's likely that if you can sort out HB within two or three months of moving in, so have a record or reliable paying once HB picks it up, they'll let you stay. I guess you'll know at the four-month stage, if they issue you with a termination of contract notice.

Tortington Wed 19-Aug-09 03:32:05

phone shelter.

what happens is they send you a Notice seeking posession, which is pretty standard first stage stuff - usually scares the shit out of people and they pay. Hurries HB up

you cannot NOT pay your rent.

hb makes no mind.

make a contribution towards your rent.

write a letter and inform the letting agent that you are willing to pay xxx per week until HB comes through.

meanwhile phone up HB, tell them you now have a NOSP.

this hurries them up

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