Can LL appeal who we make first payment to?

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  • #33978
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Can anyone tell me if the landlord has any right of appeal about who we make the first HB payment to while making a safeguard decision, or is it down to our discretion?

    For example, we recive a HB claim where the LL has asked for payment. While we look in to whether the tenant is unlikely to pay rent, or unable to manage their financial affairs, we decide to pay the tenant.

    Many thanks

    #94745
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I see where you are coming from Sam: the best known cases on this issue have all dealt with superseding decisions where paymnt arrangements are changed mid-award, and you are wondering whether it is different with a new claim. Right?

    I think there is a right of appeal here. Look at para 21 of [url=https://hbinfo.org/comdecs/ch_0180_2006.htm]CH/0180/2006[/url]:

    “It appears to me to be self-evident that the landlord’s rights are affected. A landlord may wish to decide how to exercise its rights if the tenant is in arrears with rent. Any decision is likely to be affected by the question whether the application for housing benefit has been determined and whether there is benefit to be paid direct to the landlord. That is also the case if the council has decided to pay the tenant rather than the landlord.”

    The context was a case where the claimant had actually asked for payments to go to the landlord, but the Council accidentally overlooked her request and paid her instead … and guess what she did with her unexpected windfall. The legal point arising from the mistake was that an express decision is required about payment arrangements in any case where the issue has been raised. That applies on a new claim as well as an established award. The claimant had put the payment arrangments into focus with her request, so the Council should have announced a decision on that issue as part of the awarding decision.

    I think the logic applies equally strongly in a case where the landlord has put ayment arrangements on the table – the Council is forced to deal with that application and include it in the decision. The landlord’s rights are affected and there is a right of appeal, I would say.

    #94746
    Julian Hobson
    Participant
    #94747
    Anthony Sandys
    Participant

    That particular case dealt with someone whose payments were switched from the landlord to the tenant and quite rightly points out that the landlord would be a person affected by that decision. But I’m still unclear about a new claim scenario.

    For example, person makes a new claim for LHA and doesn’t give us their permission to share any information with the landlord. In fact they say (as some do), “don’t tell my landlord I’m getting benefit, as he’ll want me out of the property.” We pay the LHA to the tenant, as there are no vulnerability issues and nothing to suggest they would be unlikely to pay their rent. Do we inform the landlord? Are they a person affected at this stage?

    #94748
    David
    Participant

    Anthony

    This thread should be helpful:
    https://hbinfo.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10514

    In your example – no, we wouldn’t inform the landlord

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