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problem with housing benefit tenant

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The tenant in question moved into the premises on the 18th November 2009 on a 6 month Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement. The tenant is a DSS Housing Benefit recipient. The Housing Benefit Department was to pay the tenant once his claim had been processed and the tenant was responsible for forwarding on the rent to me.

The Housing Benefit Department started to pay the tenant the rent, he however did not forward the rent onto me. After he had become 8 weeks in arrears I contacted the Housing Benefits Department informed them of this, at this stage they suspended his claim and stopped making any further payments to him.

I was informed by the Housing Benefit Department that their procedure was to contact the tenant to confirm rental arrears before any payments could be paid directly to me.

Unfortunately the tenant has become very aggressive and un-cooperative towards me. He has complained to the Housing Standard Enforcement Officer about the condition of the flat. The Enforcement Officer has been in touch with me and we have agreed that the following minor work needs to be carried out:

1. Draft proof around front door.
2. Re- secure a wooden window cill to the frame.
3. Clean area where mould growth has occurred as a result of condensation (a result of tenant sealing the air brick and drying clothes on rads).

None of the above repair work is category 1 hazard, I have agreed with the Housing Standards Enforcement Officer to carry out the above work when he can get the tenant to agree a suitable time.

At this point the Housing Benefit Department are informing me that no payment for rent can be made to me as, the tenant is adamant that he does not wish me to be paid any rent.

Can you advise me whether the Housing Benefit Department are acting correctly in view of the information provided above and I would be grateful if you could offer any helpful advice or guidance as to how best to evict this tenant.

Thank you in advance for your time.

17/03/2010 00:00

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