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Tenant not passing on rent (housing benefit) - should I tell the council ?


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Hi 

I tenant has left my property with 3 months rent arrears 

They receive full housing benefit 

I take it I should report them to the council? 

Also what's to stop them staying somewhere else for say 6 months,building up arrears with the landlord but keeping the housing benefit for themselves ?does it ever catch up with them?

Thanks  

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Probably worth writing to the council concerned under the guise of seeking your arrears as you are aware that they were in receipt of Housing Benefits.  This would alert the council to the situation without it being seen as a direct snitch.  Not sure how much notice council's take of these matters a they probably see it as too difficult and a private matter between Tenant and Landlord rather than notification of fraudulent use of public funds which you or I would hope they would

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Douglas,

Just out of interest, how did you go about referencing your tenants when they applied for the tenancy?  Did you carry out the reference checks yourself or did you use a company?  If you do use proper referencing companies there are several insurance packages you can take out for loss of rent and malicious damage etc. A good letting agent should be able to advise you on this but also the National Landlords Assoc (NLA) (& I would expect the RLA also) have a eferencing set up which both members and non-members can use.  I would strongly advise you always reference check an applicant - even if you know them or are recommended to you as there are all sorts of skeletons that can come out and even the most respectable looking individuals can have a past you may want to be aware of

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Cheers Tim I didn't know about that but I will look into it.

I just called their previous landlord,who said she was fine. As well as oweing a couple of grand in rent the flat was left in a disgraceful condition. 

My flats aren't exactly in the most desirable of areas shall we say, so I'm realistic about the type of tenants I'm renting to,but this tenant was particularly bad. Constant lies and so on as well.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Although Housing Benefit is paid in order to pay rent, tenants don't have to use it to do so! Seems to like fraud to me but apparently it isn't. As long as they are still entitled to the HB there is nothing anyone can do. I would inform the council because they will have to make a new claim on a new address but they are under no obligation to pay monies received to you. Take them to County Court for their arrears.

Good luck

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