Housing benefit clawback

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    Housing benefit clawback

    I am today in receipt of a letter from Birmingham City council stating that they have decided to overturn a decision to pay an ex tenant of mine housing bens to the tune of £850 and are billing me for that amount. The tenant in question did a flit before the end of his tenancy leaving rent unpaid and left me with £3k worth of repairs (including a rented bedroom where he had been growing his own weed!).
    The tenant left over 3 years ago so to have this out of the blue is outrageous but I am not surprised to see the wheels turning so slowly at Bham city council.
    Any advice or thoughts gratefully accepted

    #2
    Either don't reply or politely decline their kind offer that you pay. I'd not reply & see what they do next...

    Was HB paid direct to you?

    That the tenant (that you, just perhaps, chose??) didn't pay rent to you & caused damage is not the fault of the council. How many s8's for arrears did you serve, please?

    Do you have a good, documented, log of regular inspection visits including finding weed and involving the Police, please?
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

    Comment


      #3
      The tenant paid for a service. This would be like going to their local supermarket and demanding that they give them their money spent on shopping.

      It would be an outrage if they could do this. Yet another reason NEVER to let to folk who are on Housing genefit or could conceivably EVER BE on housing benefit.

      What the hell!

      Comment


        #4
        If there were benefits paid to you directly and the tenant should not have been paid them, the local authority can demand their return.

        The unpaid rent and damage are, essentially, irrelevant to that process (however maddening that is).
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

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          #5
          I think the local authority can only claim the money back off the landlord if the landlord knew the tenant wasn't allowed the additional HB. For example, if the Miss T claimed to be a single parent but had BF come to live with her, the LL couldn't know without checking her bedroom every night!

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            #6
            The DWP is paying the benefit to the tenant and sending the money to the landlord as a convenience only.
            When the tenant is considered to have claimed benefits they weren't entitled to, they're simply recovered from the landlord - which the landlord agreed to when they applied for the benefits to be paid directly.

            What the landlord knows or knew doesn't matter.
            One of the reasons people on benefits find it hard to rent.
            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

            Comment

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