Turner and Howard

Stevenage & North Herts Housing Benefit

Resources, information and housing benefit rates for landlords.  Brought to you by Turner and Howard, eviction and housing legislation experts.


Landlords and letting agents still confused over housing benefit legislation are still indecisive about procedures following the blanket housing benefit caps in Stevenage & North Herts surrounding cuts due to be introduced on all existing tenancies as from January 2012.

In April this year, the new reduced housing benefit rates were applied to all new tenancies.  The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) have sweetened the blow a little by offering landlords direct payment of  housing benefit in return for lowering rents, to fall in line with the new rent rates deemed affordable per local authority.

As we approach the tenth month of 2011, time is running out for landlords, still left undecided by the lower rent rates introduced on all existing tenancies for tenants claiming housing benefit in Stevenage & North Herts.

Firstly, landlords need to weigh up the pros and cons.  Landlords are estimated to lose an average £600 per year, per property if they accept the lower rate of housing benefit, named the 30th percentile, except in London, where landlords stand to lose considerably more.  Landlords also need to weigh up the amount lost through rental voids if eviction is sought to evict a tenant in receipt of housing benefit.

Landlord/agent resources for Stevenage & North Herts Housing Benefit:

Below are some links and resources for both landlords and letting agents.  A table of the new Stevenage & North Herts housing benefit rate can be found here.  Please note that tenants cannot claim for 5-bedroom properties anymore and will only be given the housing benefit rate for a 4-bedroom instead.

Direct Payment of Stevenage & North Herts Housing Benefit to Landlord
Should a landlord accept the lower rate of housing benefit, before he/she can apply for direct payment, certain criterion must be met:

  • Tenancies must first be presented at the normal higher rate;
  • Tenant(s) need to present the tenancy agreement stating the higher rent to the housing benefit office;
  • Once tenant can show that if payment of housing benefit is paid direct to landlord, the landlord will give the tenant a tenancy reflecting the reduced rent as deemed affordable by the local authority in question;
  • Top-up of rent by a tenant is not allowed.  The housing benefit office will insist on seeing the new tenancy before release of direct payment to landlord is authorized.

Resources for landlords and letting agents:  Click to view/download

  • Housing Benefit Table:  A list of the new reduced English housing benefit rates for each local authority.  Search the table for the rate in Stevenage & North Herts.
  • Tenant letter template letter informing them, that rent will not be reduced to fall in line with new Stevenage & North Herts housing benefit.
  • Tenant letter template letter informing them that rent will be reduced to new Stevenage & North Herts housing benefit rate.
  • Tenant letter template letter for tenants to sign and send to Stevenage & North Herts housing benefit office to arrange direct payment to landlord.
  • Letting agent template letter to landlord informing them of housing benefit reduction.
  • Housing Benefit Rates for Wales

 

Turner & Howard are specialists in residential eviction procedures.  For information on our low-cost eviction, call us on 01704 551607 or visit us at our website: www.turnerandhoward.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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