Local Authority reclaiming Housing Benefit and Council Tax for 4 months?

I own a flat in Tyne and Wear with a DSS tenant, assured shorthold tenancy, no deposit (stupid I know).

I recently received a letter from H Benefit saying my tenant has just left and therefore Housing Benefit has stopped-fair enough.

I have just received another letter stating that the tenant left in October and I have to repay nearly 4 months housing benefit!!

I also have the Council after me for 4 months Council Tax. My question is:
1.Why can Housing benefit not reclaim the rent from the tenant-they could do this by reducing the benefit on the flat that he’s moved to.
2.Why can the Council not pursue the tenant for Council Tax, I had no way of knowing that the flat was vacant and it strikes me as totally unfair that I am being asked for this money when the tenant was still legally my existing tenant-no notice given, etc etc.

Any advice your readers can give would be most welcome, I am sure this situation is fairly common!

Douglas

Blog Post from Property 118

Many landlords within the private rented sector are increasingly abandoning direct lettings to tenants receiving Housing Benefit, opting instead in favour of our long established, popular and successful ‘Guaranteed Rent’ letting model.

This article provides a clear and useful illustration of the financial risks facing landlords who let their properties directly to tenants receiving Housing Benefit/Local Housing Allowance & Universal Credit.

Landlords should seriously consider exploring the option to ‘Let to the Council’ on a reputable and well-established ‘Guaranteed Rent’ scheme, such as ours, where the risk of incurring any rent arrears or rent loss is entirely removed, in contrast to directly letting their properties to tenants in receipt of Housing Benefit/Local Housing Allowance or Universal Credit.

To fully understand how our ‘Guaranteed Rent’ scheme can remove all these financial risks for Landlords with properties in north, east & west London, please call us on 020 8447 1222 or visit our website http://centralhousinggroup.com/ for further information.

See details of our Guaranteed Rent Scheme here

 

If you have any comments, please email the author of this article and click on the link above

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