We’ve heard a little rumour concerning direct payment to landlords for tenants who are in receipt of local housing allowance.

It must be said this is not confirmed and is perhaps not especially reliable (I can’t say where the rumour has come from, or I could but I’d have to …)

Anyway, it has been suggested to us that the government are in the process of reversing the direct payment to landlords and allowing tenants to consent to payment being made direct. The change is expected “imminently”.

The only thing that gives this rumour a little hope is the timing. Currently, there is consultation regarding changes to the housing benefit regulations to take account of the budget announcements reducing the local housing allowance rate. Those changes are expected fairly soon.

The direct payment is very simple indeed to restore because in fact regulation 95 (the part landlords are interested in) still exists to allow tenants on the old system before LHA to continue to consent to landlords receiving direct payment. Therefore, a very minor change to the wording is all that is needed to restore the position and only a minister needs to make the change.

Even if this does happen, I will still be ensuring all my tenants receive the benefit themselves as I don’t want to get involved!

Let’s hope and see.