Housing Benefit Changes and Why Private Landlords Should Consider a Rent Collection Service

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The way in which Housing Benefit is to be paid to tenants is shortly about to change dramatically. Changes to the Housing Benefit system will cause big problems for private landlords used to receiving tenant rent payments direct from the local authority as this direct rent collection system is about to be removed.

With the impending Housing Benefit assessment and payment changes due to arrive in the UK on April 7, 2008, many private landlords will experience rent payment problems from their tenants. The main reason for the anticipated rise in rent arrears problems is that Housing Benefit is due to be paid to the tenant themselves as oppose to directly to the landlord in the vast majority of cases.

Consider A Professional Rent Collection Service
In anticipation of the increased number of rent collection problems that the Housing Benefit changes will bring to private landlords, R. James Hutcheon Solicitors are advising landlords to consider the benefits of the firm's low cost rent collection and rent arrears legal protection service in order to avoid cash-flow problems caused by non payment of rent from tenants on low incomes and in direct control of their Housing Allowance from April. The Rent Management Service from Hutcheon Solicitors costs £10 per tenant per month and is a full rent collection and reporting service for busy private landlords that wish to have their rental income professionally managed without paying the high costs associated with hiring an expensive letting agency.

Built In Legal Protection To Deal With Problem Tenants
The Rent Collection Service from Hutcheon Solicitors also provides private landlords with built in legal protection as part of the monthly fee in order to formally deal with problem tenants that have failed to keep up with rent payments and are not responding to a rent arrears repayment plan administered on behalf of the landlord by Hutcheon law. The legal protection provided to landlords as part of the Rent Management Service covers the necessary costs associated with starting initial legal proceedings for repossession and tenant eviction if called for and any additional 'full blown' court eviction action is supplied on a No Win No Fee basis to landlords from the firm.

An Ethical, Best Practice Approach to Tenant Rent Arrears Management
The Rent Management Service also enables private landlords to know that they are approaching incidences of rent arrears from an ethical and professional standpoint as landlords are assigned their own personal account manager responsible for liaising with the landlord and their tenants at Hutcheon solicitors. All personal account managers are also experienced and trained debt advisors that are able to deal with genuine cases of financial difficulties experienced by tenants with sympathy and will be able to help the tenant by drawing up a budget and debt management plan to assist the tenant to get back on track with their rent payments as easily and fairly as possible. This 'modern and reasonable' approach supports landlord accreditation scheme principles and represents a 'win win' situation for both landlord and tenant as it enables the landlord to get their rent arrears payments collected as a priority payment in a debt management plan whilst providing the tenant with debt help support over and above what is reasonably expected that a private landlord should provide to theirtenants.

Online Payment Tracking And Monthly Statements
The IT systems and payment collection and processing capabilities of Hutcheon Solicitors are world class. As such rent payments can be collected in a number of different ways from tenants and disbursed electronically to landlords via BACS or CHAPS as appropriate. Both landlords and their tenants are provided with their own online login accounts from the Rent Management Service website so that payments and account quiries can be monitored and tracked accordingly. Monthly statements of accounts are also sent to landlords and tenants additionally for hard copy record keeping purposes.

To learn more about the Rent Management Service from R.James Hutcheon Solicitors landlords can visit the purpose built website at http://www.rentmanagement.co.uk to register interest directly or alternatively contact the Rent Management Team free on 0800 083 0626


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