Review of non dependant deductions on Housing and Council Tax Benefit

 

 

 

 

 

In my opinion non dependant deductionson housing benefit  forces families to look for ways of beating the benefit system.

Non dependants who manage to find a job suddenly move out of the family home the same day they start working.  They say they are moving to a family or friends home who is not claiming housing benefit, more than likely they do not actually move out.

Rather than raise the non dependant deductions rates I think that they should be lowered so that they do not encourage people to go to the lengths to say they have moved address.   I believe that  this a common occurrence  and  a change needs to be made to the rules so that no one needs to lie about where they are living.

For the current rates of non dependant deductions (Click here)

Why is this idea important?

 

 

 

 

 

In my opinion non dependant deductionson housing benefit  forces families to look for ways of beating the benefit system.

Non dependants who manage to find a job suddenly move out of the family home the same day they start working.  They say they are moving to a family or friends home who is not claiming housing benefit, more than likely they do not actually move out.

Rather than raise the non dependant deductions rates I think that they should be lowered so that they do not encourage people to go to the lengths to say they have moved address.   I believe that  this a common occurrence  and  a change needs to be made to the rules so that no one needs to lie about where they are living.

For the current rates of non dependant deductions (Click here)

Allow Local Authorities to use Electoral Roll to Prevent Fraud

At present local authorities are having to pay Experian, the Credit Reference Agency to match their own electoral roll against their own council tax records to identify people claiming a council tax discount for living alone, when other adults live at the address and are registered at the address to vote. This is becauise the law does mot allow the Council to do this data matching itself, but a credit reference agency can.

This is a ridiculous state of affairs. A simple data match that could be done on a PC is costing each Council £15,000 or more putting millions of pounds of public money into Experian's pocket. The law should be changed so Councils can do this simple check themselves. 

Why is this idea important?

At present local authorities are having to pay Experian, the Credit Reference Agency to match their own electoral roll against their own council tax records to identify people claiming a council tax discount for living alone, when other adults live at the address and are registered at the address to vote. This is becauise the law does mot allow the Council to do this data matching itself, but a credit reference agency can.

This is a ridiculous state of affairs. A simple data match that could be done on a PC is costing each Council £15,000 or more putting millions of pounds of public money into Experian's pocket. The law should be changed so Councils can do this simple check themselves. 

Local Housing Allowance

As a Landlord I am increasingly dumstruck at the previous governments idea to give tenants control over the housing benefit that they receive. This is simply not working. The tenants are receiving £300-£400 per month and not passing it on to the Landlords. This causes them problems paying for their buy to let mortgages and in turn causes Landlords to evict tenants who in turn start the whole process again. They fraudilently take money off the government, spend this on whatever they want and the Landlord is left out of pocket. I rang a tenant last week to see when she was going to pay her rent and she was in Spain!! How can she afford to go on holiday to Spain? She has enjoyed 2 weeks in the sun, come back, packed up some of her stuff, left the house a mess and has done a moonlight. This should never have happened. They cannot look after large amounts of money. Christmas time is a nightmare. They receive £400 a couple of weeks before Christmas and you honestly expect them to pass on this money. It does not happen. They have a jolly good time 

Why is this idea important?

As a Landlord I am increasingly dumstruck at the previous governments idea to give tenants control over the housing benefit that they receive. This is simply not working. The tenants are receiving £300-£400 per month and not passing it on to the Landlords. This causes them problems paying for their buy to let mortgages and in turn causes Landlords to evict tenants who in turn start the whole process again. They fraudilently take money off the government, spend this on whatever they want and the Landlord is left out of pocket. I rang a tenant last week to see when she was going to pay her rent and she was in Spain!! How can she afford to go on holiday to Spain? She has enjoyed 2 weeks in the sun, come back, packed up some of her stuff, left the house a mess and has done a moonlight. This should never have happened. They cannot look after large amounts of money. Christmas time is a nightmare. They receive £400 a couple of weeks before Christmas and you honestly expect them to pass on this money. It does not happen. They have a jolly good time 

Extortionate Benefits

No claimant or family to receive in total of normal unemployment benefits including rent and council tax payments, more than the total that a person working a full time job on national minimum wage would receive in salary.

Why is this idea important?

No claimant or family to receive in total of normal unemployment benefits including rent and council tax payments, more than the total that a person working a full time job on national minimum wage would receive in salary.

Repeal/ Adjust the limit of 20 quid on earnings before Benefits can take most of it.

There is currently a reg in place that means that if you earn more than 20 quid whilst on JSA or Incap Benefits the local council can take every pound after the first 20 quid you earn per week.

It's part of the Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit  system basically.  It's called Permitted Earnings.

Disabled people get supported permitted earnings.  And that limit is about 80 quid per week, but the 20 quid limit is still valid.

So you get to earn say 70 quid, and then have to give 50 quid to the council.

Why is this idea important?

There is currently a reg in place that means that if you earn more than 20 quid whilst on JSA or Incap Benefits the local council can take every pound after the first 20 quid you earn per week.

It's part of the Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit  system basically.  It's called Permitted Earnings.

Disabled people get supported permitted earnings.  And that limit is about 80 quid per week, but the 20 quid limit is still valid.

So you get to earn say 70 quid, and then have to give 50 quid to the council.

Cancel direct payment of Housing Benefit to tenants

A flawed policy introduced by the previous administration was direct payment of Housing Benefit to private tenants. This has led to increased difficulty for tenants in taking responsibility for these payments, and payments to landlords is only possible after an 8 week default period. This increases the burden on tenants, Local Authorities, and landlords alike.

 

I have personally seen an increase in rent defaults and an increasing reluctance to take on DSS tenants with no guarantee of income. This is a worrying change in attitude and would have a detrimental effect on the tenants who are actually in greatest need of support from the community. Local Authorities do not have the resources to scrutinise how long a Tenant has been in arrears, so that often the landlord will not receive payment until much later than 8 weeks (if at all).

Why is this idea important?

A flawed policy introduced by the previous administration was direct payment of Housing Benefit to private tenants. This has led to increased difficulty for tenants in taking responsibility for these payments, and payments to landlords is only possible after an 8 week default period. This increases the burden on tenants, Local Authorities, and landlords alike.

 

I have personally seen an increase in rent defaults and an increasing reluctance to take on DSS tenants with no guarantee of income. This is a worrying change in attitude and would have a detrimental effect on the tenants who are actually in greatest need of support from the community. Local Authorities do not have the resources to scrutinise how long a Tenant has been in arrears, so that often the landlord will not receive payment until much later than 8 weeks (if at all).

Housing Benefit

Clamp down on housing benefit to single mothers with children where the partner/husband (who usually works full time)  visits every day but only stays a couple nights a week so the mother can claim housing benefit as a single parent.  It's just another dodge to claim benefits unlawfully and it is happening everywhere  

Why is this idea important?

Clamp down on housing benefit to single mothers with children where the partner/husband (who usually works full time)  visits every day but only stays a couple nights a week so the mother can claim housing benefit as a single parent.  It's just another dodge to claim benefits unlawfully and it is happening everywhere  

Let’s reform housing benefit for people with a long term health condition!

How about reforming Housing Benefit so that people with life long health conditions can actually buy a house and pay a mortgage with the Housing Benefit money rather than stay in rented accommodation forever as the current system seems to allow!   Which is more expensive!!  I have worked it out over 20 years and the figures are shocking; the difference could purchase another small flat outright.  So once the mortgage is paid off, housing benefit stops, or an innovative scheme whereby local authorities and NHS Trust jointly buy properties by way of an arms length organisation through a PFI for long term claimants who buy the property off the arms length organisation over 20/25 years, with their Housing Benefit, once the property is paid for, the Housing Benefit stops, unless circumstances change, although they are most likely to change circumstances mid term, in which case a swap is made possible, like a single person getting married and having children and requires a larger home.

Why is this idea important?

How about reforming Housing Benefit so that people with life long health conditions can actually buy a house and pay a mortgage with the Housing Benefit money rather than stay in rented accommodation forever as the current system seems to allow!   Which is more expensive!!  I have worked it out over 20 years and the figures are shocking; the difference could purchase another small flat outright.  So once the mortgage is paid off, housing benefit stops, or an innovative scheme whereby local authorities and NHS Trust jointly buy properties by way of an arms length organisation through a PFI for long term claimants who buy the property off the arms length organisation over 20/25 years, with their Housing Benefit, once the property is paid for, the Housing Benefit stops, unless circumstances change, although they are most likely to change circumstances mid term, in which case a swap is made possible, like a single person getting married and having children and requires a larger home.

Bring the Housing Benefit budget under control

The Housing Benefit budget has spiralled out of control since the 1988 Housing Act prevented a legally-enforceable rent being set by tribunal.The effect has been for Housing Benefit to drive up the cost of rent for everyone,and to transfer huge sums of taxpayers money into the pockets of landlords as a hidden subsidy,raising the realisable value of property and making all forms of housing more expensive.

Recent half-baked attempts to address the Housing Benefit issue have focussed upon squeezing the tenant on benefits…the one person least able to influence the cost of housing….by imposing caps on how much benefit is paid,regardless of what the rents actuall are.

The only solution,if we are to get the budget under control,is to have legally enforceable rent levels agreed at tribunal,as was the case before 1988,enabling the Government to budget effectivel and in the long term,for Housing Benefit.

Why is this idea important?

The Housing Benefit budget has spiralled out of control since the 1988 Housing Act prevented a legally-enforceable rent being set by tribunal.The effect has been for Housing Benefit to drive up the cost of rent for everyone,and to transfer huge sums of taxpayers money into the pockets of landlords as a hidden subsidy,raising the realisable value of property and making all forms of housing more expensive.

Recent half-baked attempts to address the Housing Benefit issue have focussed upon squeezing the tenant on benefits…the one person least able to influence the cost of housing….by imposing caps on how much benefit is paid,regardless of what the rents actuall are.

The only solution,if we are to get the budget under control,is to have legally enforceable rent levels agreed at tribunal,as was the case before 1988,enabling the Government to budget effectivel and in the long term,for Housing Benefit.

Housing benefit

Should be restricted to less than £400 per week.

The average working man couldn't afford this and limits his family accordingly.

Housing benefit should be no more than the cost of a three bedroomed semi in that area.

 

Why is this idea important?

Should be restricted to less than £400 per week.

The average working man couldn't afford this and limits his family accordingly.

Housing benefit should be no more than the cost of a three bedroomed semi in that area.

 

Housing Benefit

People in receipt of housing benefit, of more than 95 per week should be re-homed, to a more affordable property, the government should build more affordable social housing, and reduce the amount of money it gives to private landlords.

People who recieve housing benefits should not live in mansions ( mainly london) and get upto£1500  per week in housing benefits.

Why is this idea important?

People in receipt of housing benefit, of more than 95 per week should be re-homed, to a more affordable property, the government should build more affordable social housing, and reduce the amount of money it gives to private landlords.

People who recieve housing benefits should not live in mansions ( mainly london) and get upto£1500  per week in housing benefits.

Housing benefit should be paid direct to landlord not claimant

Housing benefit is currently paid to the claimant in lump sumps leaving the claimant to pay the landlord. Where payment is not made by the claimant despite receipt of the benefit or where the claimant fails to claim the housing benefit, the landlord is put to the unnecessary expense of court eviction which seems unfair given the Government money involved.

 The old system of paying the landlord directly appears to be preferred by both landlords and those working in the housing benefits office.

My idea would be that housing benefit is paid directly to the landlord not the claimant.

Why is this idea important?

Housing benefit is currently paid to the claimant in lump sumps leaving the claimant to pay the landlord. Where payment is not made by the claimant despite receipt of the benefit or where the claimant fails to claim the housing benefit, the landlord is put to the unnecessary expense of court eviction which seems unfair given the Government money involved.

 The old system of paying the landlord directly appears to be preferred by both landlords and those working in the housing benefits office.

My idea would be that housing benefit is paid directly to the landlord not the claimant.

Anomaly in Student loans used to pay housing benefit (scotland)

The welfare reforms expected the core jobless to go back to work or take up education and training.  There is an anomaly with student loans in Scotland whereby housing benefit must be paid out of the student loan.

Unfortunately, the SAAS and student services do not inform about the anomaly even on the SAAS website and a person may only apply for student fee exemption without realising that they must also take out a student loan to pay their rent as housing benefit no longer applies.

Housing Benefit Regulation s.64 (3)  (b).

'A student shall be treated as possessing a student loan in respect of an academic year where (a) a student loan has been made to him in respect of that year or (b) he could acquire such a loan in respect of that year by taking reasonable steps to do so."

This anomaly causes an overpayment of housing benefit with subsequent claw back which places the student in arrears of rent.  If in arrears a landlord can use this as a reason to evict, the student then becomes homeless.

However, it is possible to get a discretionary payment from the Council to pay the arrears but this does not garantee that a valid notice to quit if served timeously will not still mean a student is homeless.

Why is this idea important?

The welfare reforms expected the core jobless to go back to work or take up education and training.  There is an anomaly with student loans in Scotland whereby housing benefit must be paid out of the student loan.

Unfortunately, the SAAS and student services do not inform about the anomaly even on the SAAS website and a person may only apply for student fee exemption without realising that they must also take out a student loan to pay their rent as housing benefit no longer applies.

Housing Benefit Regulation s.64 (3)  (b).

'A student shall be treated as possessing a student loan in respect of an academic year where (a) a student loan has been made to him in respect of that year or (b) he could acquire such a loan in respect of that year by taking reasonable steps to do so."

This anomaly causes an overpayment of housing benefit with subsequent claw back which places the student in arrears of rent.  If in arrears a landlord can use this as a reason to evict, the student then becomes homeless.

However, it is possible to get a discretionary payment from the Council to pay the arrears but this does not garantee that a valid notice to quit if served timeously will not still mean a student is homeless.