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My rent tormentFears of city landlords.

ELDERLY Parkinson's disease sufferer Patricia Head was threatened with eviction over an unpaid pounds 1,400 rent bill.

Mrs Head, 75, says she was sickened by the mix-up which stemmed from Liverpool city council failing to pay her benefit to landlord Lee Valley Housing Association.

Mrs Head received a letter from LVHA threatening to throw her out of her home in Netherley unless she paid up.

She said: ``I couldn't believe it when I got the letter. It left me feeling sick to the stomach. Noone came to speak to me.''

The council apologised to Mrs Head and promised to clear it up with LVHA. The letter was sent automatically when her rent was not paid.

ONE landlord, David Dever, who has seven properties throughout the city, says the housing benefits crisis could bankrupt many landlords.

Mr Dever,from Hunts Cross, said: ``The majority of my tenants are on housing benefit.

``The big problems occur when my tenants complete their benefit renewal claim forms because in many cases they are not processed quickly enough and we are left without payment.

``The delays can be anything from two months to six months long and during periods like this I just don't get paid.

``If a landlord is heavily mortgaged this could send him to the wall unless he has sufficient funds in reserve.

``I've got one tenant who completed his renewal forms on February 14 but it is still to be processed and I have not been paid since then.

``I have sent eviction letters to tenants myself, not because I want to evict them,but because it is the only way you can put pressure on the council to pay the benefit due.

``But even that doesn't work.''
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 14, 2003
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