Housing benefit problems

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My lettings agent currently lets out two of my properties. Recently they sorted out new tenants for one property very promptly. In fact, I didn't know they had found new tenants until I happened to phone them about something else to discover that they had got new tenants to take the flat the day after previous tenants had vacated. I was pleased but surprised that they hadn't let me know or liaised with me.

Now it transpires that there are problems. The tenants - a couple with a young child are on housing allowance and a form still needs to be dealt with by the council. The upshot is that I received the first month's rent but am now in arrears for month two. Had I been consulted I probably would not have allowed housing allowance tenants and at the very least I would have insisted on a guarantor's letter.

I was sent copies of the tenancy agreement although I was not asked to sign anything. I am presuming that by using a letting agent I give the agent this responsibility - although I'm sure that I had to sign the agreement myself and send it back to them in a previous letting.

I know how long things can take through the local councils, so I am naturally anxious about this situation. I know also form this forum that other landlords have had problems with the new housing allowance regulations. I wonder if I should just deal with this as tenants I never allowed in or was consulted about - so get them out and start from scratch. Or should I hang in there and make the letting agent sort it out. It's difficult to know, because I've not been in this situation previously.

Any advice received with thanks.

02/11/2008 00:00

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