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MrWoof
21-02-2007, 22:30 PM
Two people, mother and adult daughter, sharing a house, both names on the tenancy agreement and both claiming Housing Benefit, daughter moves out and HB still pay the same amount but now under mother's name only. HB have sent me a bill for one day's overpayment of benefit for the daughter who moved out. Why they didn't simply deduct it from the next HB payment I don't know but I have written back to them saying that it is their responsibility to claim this back from the daughter, not me as I was not aware of any changes until after the event. Am I right in replying in this way?

M.A.O.H
22-02-2007, 09:04 AM
i think if the rent was being paid directly to you, then you have to pay it back. are you sure they won't deduct it from next cheque? that's the usual way. sometimes they send you several different letters saying several different things in the same envelope, and you have to find out which decision is the right one. they never take the easy route, it's against their religion.

if tenants receive the cheques, it should be down to them. you have a month to dispute anything from the date of the hb letter.

tbh, even though i've been an hb tenant for some years, i still find it difficult to understand, (for eg my rent cheques used to go direct to my ex LL. HB informed me of the amount of benefit due weekly which was correct, then didn't always send the correct amount to my LL. I had no way of knowing this , LL never told me till atfer I left. HB have told him, even though it was their mistake, he has to get the difference from me! because he didn't dispute it within a month of the wrong payments being sent).

if the hb is still the same amount for the just the mother, then i would go down there and get them to explain what's going on in plain english,as that's nonsensical. perhaps you may be due another letter saying it's been adjusted and you now owe nothing - they do this a lot and it causes panic, confusion and makes you want to kill them.

justaboutsane
22-02-2007, 09:25 AM
Mr Wolf, if you were not aware of te change in circs then you should not have to pay it back, however they will still try and claim it from you! We had the situation a few years back when tenant left and never told us, her sister moved in the day after she moved out but she had put a claim in at another property 3 months earlier! No matter how much we argued with the council that she was still in residence until the day before the new tenant moved in they would not hear of it, eventually they said we only owed them one month so we paid this back threough the new tenants HB but we were not happy about it!

M.A.O.H
22-02-2007, 17:12 PM
Mr Wolf, if you were not aware of te change in circs then you should not have to pay it back, however they will still try and claim it from you! We had the situation a few years back when tenant left and never told us, her sister moved in the day after she moved out but she had put a claim in at another property 3 months earlier! No matter how much we argued with the council that she was still in residence until the day before the new tenant moved in they would not hear of it, eventually they said we only owed them one month so we paid this back threough the new tenants HB but we were not happy about it!

would this also work the other way round? ie the tenant not being responsible if LL hadn't informed them that they were being underpaid? HB are excellent at keeping you in the dark, giving mixed messages and generally not giving a damn, as long as they are not held responsible.
( i wouldn't be surprised if they got the money out of your ex tenant as well as you justaboutsane!)

MrWoof
22-02-2007, 22:34 PM
Thanks for the replies, I should have checked my records though, a response to this was posted some time ago:
1. Section 71 of the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000 amends
Section 75(3) of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 relating to the
recovery of Housing Benefit (HB) overpayments. The HB (General) Amendment
(No.2) Regulations 2001 (S.I.2001 No.1190) amends HB Regulations (Regs)
governing the persons from whom overpayments can be recovered. The
amendments come into force on 1st October 2001.
If anyone wants it, I have the full text, it is quite long but it says that as long as the landlord has no knowledge of any changes, overpayments cannot be claimed back from the LL.
By the way, those on this forum who know me also know why my login is MrWoof, not Wolf :D . I don't bite.........often!

justaboutsane
23-02-2007, 07:42 AM
sorry MrWoof!!!! I got it into my head you were mr Wolf!!! Must admit yesterday was one of my blonde days, made quite a few dumb remarks!!!