Ethical way to pay this debt ? will this work?

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Post by flamingate » Tue Feb 09, 2021 10:19 pm
A tenant is renting from private landlord.
Tenant claims housing benefit (money from the council) to pay their rent.
They rent to a Private landlord.
Tenant receives the Housing benefit payment Direct to the tenants bank account, and then pays the Land lord via a standing order every month.

This has happened,
Looks like the tenant has been negligent and not looked after a few things. There was a boiler issue and it exploded, so no hot water. This damaged the walls causing damp etc.
Also due to this the electrics exploded so damaged more walls.

Due to this the place has to be fully dried and refurbished.

The whole place will have to be emptied, and will torn apart and then dried and then after it is dries re-plastered. It takes time to dry. Especially in this cold weather it will take ages to dry. Then the electrics rewired (as water will most likely be in the wires)
Nobody was hurt

For simplicity, Let's say the rent is £400 a month, paid from council to tenant, and then tenant to landlord.
The builder/plumber Work to renovate costs £800. (this figure is for simplicity for my questions below)

Flat is empty (tenant has moved all their stuff out, so they cannot live in it, no bed etc)
Landlord has the keys from the tenant, who passed them on happily after the place was empty.

They keys passed on to the builder, who will be carrying on the work for 6-8 weeks.

Why 6-8 weeks? the place needs to dry thoroughly, and it is cold and frosty.
Plaster walls to be broken off, plaster walls stripped, place dried,

then after weeks of drying, new electrics installed, new plaster boards put new boiler installed

In those 2 months the tenant will be living in with family for Free/ no extra cost

The council/housing benefit wont know about this. As far as the council are concerned
the tenant will still be living there for them 2 months and receiving council housing benefit.

Landlord says the tenant was negligent, and if the insurance doesn't pay for the cost, then
Tenant isn’t admitting to negligence
* Deposit held by the deposit scheme of £400

Here are questions, coming up
Would this following work, as a form of a payment plan? (Let’s assume the landlord agrees that is)

For the next 2 months, the tenant lives with family (for free).
The tenant doesn’t tell the council about the incident, As they wont tell the council about it. As far as the council are concerned the tenant will still be living there for them 2 months and receiving council housing benefit.

Would this work as a payment plan

The 2 months which the tenant will be absent from the property (as the landlord has the keys, and the tenant has no bed there) – the tenant keeps this 2 months of housing benefit (2 x £400 makes £800) to himself.

The tenant can this offer this £800 to the landlord for the payment of the £800 builder/renovation cost.
So in away the tenant is paying the landlord for the repair work, with council money.

In those 2 months the Landlord shouldn’t really get rent money as the tenant is not living there (due to no bed, no keys) etc, and the tenant is living with family in them 2 months.

So the 2 months of £400, making £800, he can offer it to the landlord as a payment for the repairs? That is the main question.

let’s say the landlord agrees to this then Is this a way to pay the £800 repair cost/debt by the tenant to the landlord

* Would It qualify for the £800 to be paid this way?
or is it just like paying the Landlord rent every month as usual (like the tenant was still living there) every month as normal,?

But how can it be like paying the landlord as normal, if the tenant isn’t technically even living there for them 2 months, and the place is empty? And they are living with family?

Obviously as pointed out before, the council/housing benefit depart Wont know about this.
Tenant cannot afford to pay for these damages as an extra additional payment.

And would like to carry on living there after the work, as they were before.
and after the work is done, the tenant can move back in with belongings, bed, keys given back to them.

Is it an ethical way to pay the debt?
Would you do personally this, to pay the debt personally ?

Is this technically paying for the works of the debt? Or because it is the monthly amount of landlord rent, then the landlord is just getting his rent, so wouldn’t qualify?

or can he accept the payment, but still say that this £800 is not really paying the renovation cost is it?
but why should he get 2 months of rent, when the tenant is not even living at this landlords property?

If you were a landlord would you agree to this as a payment?

Any other pointers you can give?
Has anyone been In this similar situation before?


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Post by Foggy » Wed Feb 10, 2021 8:28 am
At first glance: even though the tenant is sleeping elsewhere, because he will be moving back in, he is still the tenant -- paying for his 'space'. Although the builder has a set of keys, the tenant should keep a key to maintain some control.

The tenant is renting the space still, which is still their 'centre of operation', getting rent from the council and should pass this to the landlord, as usual. The landlord uses this to pay the builder ( that is a private matter between the landlord and builder ).

I should add that this is not within the remit of the forum and my response is purely my 'thinking out loud'.
My opinions are merely that .. opinions based on experience. Always seek professional advice.
IVA Completed 23rd July 2013 .... C.C. 10th January 2014


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Post by lifenoteasy » Wed Feb 10, 2021 9:40 am
Not really sure why a landlord would accept this as they would still be out of pocket.
IVA started March 2011, Completed March 2016 and certificate issued 11 days after final payment. It was not always easy but then some of the best decisions aren't.
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