Housing benefit chaos for Bonsall landlords

Joanne Hanby hasnt recieved rent from her tenant despite the council paying it.

Joanne Hanby hasnt recieved rent from her tenant despite the council paying it.

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A Bonsall couple have hit out at Nottingham City Council’s “misguided and disastrous” housing benefit policy amid fears that they will lose their property for good.

Landlords Joanne and David Hanby rented their Nottingham property to its current tenant in July 2012. The tenant paid two months rent up front – then refused to pay the couple any more money.

Unbeknown to the couple, the tenant was claiming housing benefit from Nottingham City Council, which was paid directly into his bank account.

Joanne said: “Once we found out, we appealed to the council who, after initially suspending his payments, unbelievably decided to continue paying our tenant directly.

The couple – who are now in danger of having the property repossessed – are begging the council to reconsider their policy.

A council spokesman said: “The Council applies the law in such cases in the same way as all councils. In this case, we had begun to pay Housing Benefit direct to the landlord but this was suspended when the claimant entered into a dispute with his landlord over disrepair to the property. The suspension of the payment could be reconsidered if the dispute is resolved and rent remain outstanding.”