Verification of rent for new claims

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    We have several cases where the assured shorthold tenancy agreements are no longer in date. The landlord may have chosen to grant a weekly /monthly tenancy instead of providing a further fixed term agreement. If a new claim for benefit is made by a tenant where the original tenancy agreement has expired would you still accept this as evidence of rent ?
    The HB Security manual states that tenancy agreement should be in date, therefore do you always insist on other evidence E.G a letter from the landlord?
    what would you do for cases where the claimant does not want his landlord to know that he/she is claiming Housing Benefit ❓
    Thank you


    The Security Guide encourages LAs to act unreasonably with regard to “in date tenancies”. Never force a tenant to get a new tenancy agreement, you are restricting their rights and forcing them to commit to a property for another 6 or 12 months. The liability remains based on the previous agreement as that has become a statutory ongoing tenancy. You could check for proof of rent paid, but remember the reason they are claiming HB is because they cannot pay the rent and many landlords do not give reciepts.

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