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Will there be exceptions?

Some tenants will have problems with the responsibility of paying the rent themselves. In order to safeguard these tenants, the Council will use its discretion to decide whether there is evidence that it is in the tenant's interest to pay their LHA direct to their landlord.

There are five circumstances when the Council will consider whether it will be in the tenant's best interests to make direct payments:

1. If it is considered that the tenant is likely to have difficulty managing their financial affairs Examples of this could include tenants with a health problem or a learning disorder or an alcohol or drug problem that might mean they would have problems managing their finances.

2. It is considered that the tenant is unlikely to pay their rent. They may have consistently failed to pay their rent in the past or they may have other debts or cash flow problems. In such cases, the Council may make payments direct to the landlord. However, it will not be sufficient to make direct payments simply because the tenant has said they will not pay their rent.

3. The tenant has rent arrears of 8 weeks or more As now, if a tenant has built up rent arrears of 8 weeks or more, the Council will be able to make payments direct to the landlord, unless it is not in the tenant's overriding interests to do so.

4. Deductions from DWP for rent arrears If a landlord is receiving deductions from a tenant's Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance or Pension Credit to cover rent arrears, the Council can pay LHA direct to the landlord

 

5. For the purpose of securing or retaining a person tenancy If it is a requirement for a tenant to be granted a tenancy that any Housing Benefit  is paid direct to the landlord or this becomes a requirement for the tenant to continue to live in the address the Local Authority can consider making payments direct to the landlord.  This would usually be required in writing.

The Council will need written evidence to make a decision. Once we have collected the evidence we will decide as quickly as possible whether it will be in the tenant's best interest to pay their LHA direct to their landlord. Each request will be considered on its own merits.