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Memorandum submitted by Emma Kelly (LH 51)

 

 

1) LHA -is based on area where you live, number of occupiers in property and household size. I have no problem with this.

2) Think it is a water of taxpayer's money because a tenant should make a contribution to rent, no matter how small, but when there is a temptation that a tenant could keep up to 15 a week it becomes the element for greed and fraud. The LHA is not about giving tenants choice as intended, it is about making them totally reliant on the Welfare State.

3) Do not think LHA should be paid directly to tenant. Some tenants find handling money difficult. The criteria for direct payment to landlord at present is registered alcoholic/drug user or somebody already seriously in debt with proof of this with documentation. If it comes to buying a new school uniform or paying the rent money, they will opt for buying their children's uniform.

4) Through personal experience we will now not take on DSS because of rent being paid directly to the tenant.

5) A previous tenant who had LHA paid directly to himself used the rent money for other purposes. With the way the LHA is paid in 2 instalments throughout the month, he claimed he found it difficult to pay the rent due on the 1st of the month.

6) With no written correspondence from the housing you do not know what LHA has been paid to the tenant and when, it is all kept private. This is very poor business practise and no other business is expected to operate in these conditions. A lot of private landlords are going to the wall because of this.

7) I think that it should be optional whether or not the LHA  gets paid directly to the tenant. The tenant should be able to say whether or not they can cope or whether they want their rent paying direct to the landlord.

8) It is unfair to only consider paying LHA  to the landlord when the tenant is 8 or more weeks in arrears, By that time the landlord is already owed a considerable amount of money

 

November 2009