View Full Version : Tenant has someone "staying" with him

02-04-2006, 13:23 PM
I have reason to believe that my tenant, who is on Housing Benefit, has someone living with him. The tenant has not told me, and I'm concerned that this would affect his HB if they knew about it, and that if he couldn't afford to pay back any overpayment, HB could ask me for it. I intend to confront the tenant very soon, but wanted to check on my position first. Obviously he shouldn't be subletting, but I tend to believe he's more likely to be helping someone out rather than charging them to stay, knowing him as I do.He's been a great tenant for the last 3 years so I want to tread carefully & wonder if it's better to turn a blind eye & just keep an eye on the situation (if you see what I mean!)

02-04-2006, 20:19 PM
This is a difficult one Caroline and I'll just put some suggestions for discussion.

The situation is not simple in so far as you tenant has the right to enjoy possession of the property and this means the right to have guests.

Do you really have sufficient evidence at this point of time to suggest a long term occupation or sub-letting?

When you are entirely happy that this is so I'm wondering if a letter should then be sent to the tenant setting out your evidence concerning the occupation and drawing his attention to the clauses on the rental agreement referring to sub-letting and seeking confirmation that these tenancy conditions are being complied with.

Depending on the response you may wish to contact the Housing Benefit Office seeking advice as to if and when this occupation of the property may have on Housing Benefit and seek assurances that there will not be a clawback from you of the Housing Benefit.

I believe the position concerning clawback of alleged fraudulent claims from the tenant is weakened if the landlord was not involved in the misrepresentation or could not be expected to know of the misrepresentation.

Can understand your feelings at not wishing to upset a good landlord tenant relationship but you don't want the situation to get out of control.

03-04-2006, 14:42 PM
Thanks, Vic- thought I was being ignored there for a while! Think I'll give the tenant a ring and see what his explanation is before i go any further.

03-04-2006, 15:18 PM
Are we thinking along the same lines that a good starter might be that you are worried about the Housing Benefit situation and possible clawback? Could he assure you that he is not sub-letting to the women concerned or receiving payments that could affect the Housing Benefit payments? Then the onus is on him to provide explanation and assurances.

04-04-2006, 20:55 PM
Interesting that you assume it's a woman! It's not, as it happens, but yes, it is the HB clawback that concerns me. He needn't even be subletting- if he's got a "non-dependant" adult living with him, he would probably be entitled to less benefit anyway.