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Friday, December 18, 2009

Landlord Action respond to Government agreeing to re-examine direct payments for Local Housing Allowance

Paul Shamplina, co-founder and director of Landlord Action, a company specialising in tenant eviction, comments on the announcement that the Government will review the tenant’s right to choose if their rent can be paid directly to their landlord.

“The government have acknowledged that they will be looking at the possibility of re-instating the choice for tenants receiving Local Housing Allowance to have their rent paid directly to their landlords. In our opinion, this is a must. At Landlord Action, since the rule change in April 2008, we have seen a huge increase in possession actions against tenants who have withheld rent and not passed on to the landlord. The law was brought in to empower tenants and make them feel part of the buy to let market place and there are many good tenants that are honest and pay the allowance over to the landlords.

Under the current law the landlords can only claim Local Housing Allowance direct from their tenant if that tenant is considered to be vulnerable, i.e they have problems with drink, drugs or mental issues. One problem we have found is that a landlord may have a tenant in debt which is unknown to them or the local council and if that tenant does not pass on their Local Housing Allowance, is this not deemed vulnerable? This is where the current difficulty lies and is the most complained about problem for landlords nationwide. We have come across many landlords in this situation who are having difficulties in paying their mortgage, therefore incurring debts of their own.”'.

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