Housing Benefit tenant & non payment of rent

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I stupidly took pity on a young, pregnant unemployed female. Long story, but a tenant died suddenly and I allowed the sister of the surving tenant to move in. She promised a deposit, but it never materialised. She has been paid housing benefit from 15 May - 27 June but has not passed it on to me. She is now 8 weeks in arrears, and I've not got a deposit. She wrote to me on 16 June to ask if she could leave. I've said yes, but she's still there. I spoke to Housing Benefit today and they say that they help tenants pay their rent - but tenants are not legally obliged to pass on the money they get for this purpose! Where does that leave poor old hapless landlord? The woman is a liar and a cheat. She has repeatedly played us for fools. We need to get her out and will have to serve notice to quit. My questions are
1) tenancy agreement was for two weekly payment in arrears - do I still have to give her two months notice?
2) Since no consideration exchanged hands - I've not had the deposit or the rent, is this a legitimate agreement? What exactly are my rigths
3) can I take the date of her writing to ask if she can leave as the date of exit?
4) Is it really possible that government have created a situation where tenants can use their housing benefit as pocket money with no consequences whatsover?
14/07/2010 00:00

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