more than 8 weeks in arrears

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  • #39807
    Jo Gregory
    Participant

    Claimant has substantial rent arrears (in excess of 8 weeks).

    A court order was obtained wef 1.7.11.
    To avoid eviction proceedings, the claimant was advised by the landlord to pay the full amount of the court order plus an arrangement to clear arrears. Claimant paid approx £250 to her rent account as requested.

    Following a revision/complaint we have been able to award HB wef 4.7.11 – 25.7.11 which covers the same period as part of the court order.
    The housing benefit underpayment was to be paid to Landlord as claimant is more than 8 weeks in arrears. However, the claimant has strongly requested that we pay the underpayment to her as she paid full rent for the same period.
    I can understamd what she is saying as she needs the underpayment to reinburse her family who originally gave her the money to pay the court order.
    Am I right in thinking that regardless of whether she paid rent for the same period, the fact that she is more than 8 weeks in arrears means that we have to pay the LL.
    Please help
    🙂 :bigsmile:

    #113465
    Kevin D
    Participant

    The 8 week arrears rule is mandatory – the only exception is if it is in the overriding interests of the claimant not to pay the LL. The latter element is a judgement call and the onus is on the clmt to satisfy the LA that it in her overriding interests etc. Note that it isn’t enough for the clmt to show it’s merely in her interests; it has to be in her OVERRIDING interests.

    #113466
    jamcon
    Participant

    To quote from CH 3244 2007:-

    “The statement notes that arrears of benefit paid, for the period 17 December 2004 to 31 July 2005 were awarded in respect of a period when the claimant was paying the rent. This is completely irrelevent, and presumably the tribunal realised this, otherwise it is unlikely to have continued, as it did, to consider the appeal under the provisions of regulation 95. The tribunal accepted that the claimant was in arrears of an amount equivalent to eight weeks or more of the amount he was liable to pay to the landlord, and it also accepted the local authority’s argument that the landlord was a “fit and proper person” to whom to pay the arrears of Housing Benefit. This left as the only possible basis of its decision that it was in theclaimant’s overriding interest not to make direct payment to the landlord.”

    #113467
    Jo Gregory
    Participant

    Thank you…I will pay the landlord.

    #163183
    Abigail_Harvey
    Participant

    I have a claimant that is 10 weeks in arrears and has expressly asked us not to discuss the claim with the landlord.  Team leader has advised to pay the LL but I thought we couldn;t under these circs and data protection would over ride the 8 weeks arrears rule.  Can we pay the LL in this instance?  And if so, can we tell them how much the HB is (they are asking).

    #163190
    nick dearnley
    Participant

    As Kevin said earlier, reg 95 makes it mandatory to pay the LL where arrears are 8 wks or more, with a limited exception.  Data protection provisions don't override this, otherwise the reg 95 provisions could be challenged by a clmt on DP grounds, and there would be no point in including the limited exception.

    In any case, all the LL will know is that there is an award of HB and how much it is, but none of the clmt's other personal details.

    I'd say they'll easily be able to work out the HB award from the payment schedule.

    Interesting thread here from pre-LHA days about LL's rights in such cases http://new.hbinfo.org/forums/topics/appeals-against-direct-payment-decisions

    #163191
    Abigail_Harvey
    Participant

    Great thanks

    #163192
    Abigail_Harvey
    Participant

    Great thanks

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