Payment to landlord – 8 weeks arrears

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  • #23491
    Graham Keys
    Participant

    This should hopefully be a straightforward query…

    One of our more ‘interesting’ landlords is trying to get us to pay HB to him rather than the tenant as there is 8 weeks arrears of rent. However, the 8 weeks consists of about 4 weeks at the tenant’s current address plus about 5 weeks at his previous address.

    The landlord owns both properties.

    He has bought himself a copy of Zebedee and is duly quoting everything about ‘claimants best interests’ etc. He states the property is being vandalised by the claimant and there are arrears. The claimant is asserting there are no arrears and that the property is in need of repairs that are not being done. Neither is particularly more believable than the other.

    Is there any milage at all in the suggestion that the 8 weeks rent arrears due to a landlord can be for more than one property, or is it only in respect of whatever property HB is currently being paid for?

    #12863
    Kevin D
    Participant

    Having taken a look at [b:340f197571]HBR 95(1)[/b:340f197571], my view is that the part relating to 8-weeks arrears is satisfied. HBR 95(1) only refers to arrears in the context of a particular landlord – nothing seems to require that the arrears must relate to only one dwelling. So long as the L/L is the same, that appears to be enough.

    As for the issue of “overriding interests”, howabout this:

    1) ask for evidence from the clmt that he has paid his rent; AND

    2) ask for a visit to the property (you can’t insist, but the clmt’s response will be interesting).

    3) check whether Environmental Health have had any involvement.

    In the circumstances, if the clmt is being honest, I would (normally) expect he would be positively enthusiastic for someone “from the Council” (whichever section / dept) to take a look at the state of the dwelling to demonstrate that the L/L was a “so and so”.

    If the clmt cannot provide evidence of rent paid AND reacts in a way that is inconsistent with wanting to “prove” his version of events, I wouldn’t hesitate to pay the L/L.

    So long as your decision is is ultimately reached reasonably, that’s all you can do.

    Regards

    #12864
    seanosul
    Participant

    The problem with Councils requesting evidence of rent arrears from the claiamnt (and I have been to Boroughs where they do this) is that the request then causes the arrears. It is for the landlord to prove the arrears; the money belongs to the tenant and not the landlord.

    If they then choose to blow it then so be it.

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