Housing Benefit

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1) My tenant applied for housing benefit from the 16th July;
2) On the 24th August tenant texted me to say that Housing benefit had been granted but only from the start of August and was going to be circa 150.00 short of the rent amount per month. She was however willing to pay 100 per week. I was away and texted back that I'd meet her on the 31st to discuss the situation;
3) Arrived on the 31st and visited twice to discuss situation;
4) On 5th Sept tenant texted to say that benefit had been stopped following an investigation into the fact that her ex and son had been viewed entering the premises regularly, I suspect in breach of benefit claim;
5) Reminded tenant of the pre-signed (March) section 21 agreement by letter through letterbox indicating that I would be seeking to take possession of the property when the term ended on the 16th September;
6) Since that point no contact from the tenant.

a) As then tenant was seeking Housing benefit since the 16th July which was granted as above on the 24th but I have received nothing. Do I have any claim against the Housing Benefit office for unpaid rent, especially as they were conducting an investigation which I wasn't at all aware of?
b) Do they normally claim back benefit from the tenant in these cases?
c) What rights do I have in discussing this situation with the Housing Benefit office?
d) Do I need to tell the benefit office that I have evoked the section 21 notice?
e) I believe the tenant was going to apply for Council emergency housing due to the Section 21 notice expiring - she said in a text that the Housing office had advised her to stay in the house until she was evicted - Hence I'm going to have to get a court order. If she 'disappears' with unpaid rent, do the Council Housing office have any obligation to advise me of her new address or pass on correspondence?
f) Finally, any views on putting in a small claims court claim. There are two cars on the property at the moment one a 54 reg. or is it a case of cutting my losses?

Any thoughts welcome.

11/09/2007 00:00

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