Question for hbadvocacy re hb overpayment

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  • Question for hbadvocacy re hb overpayment

    A little confused to my rights in this case after reading a few of your threads to get the answer.
    Here goes..I receive the rent direct for my tenant.Have received a letter from HB saying 'because there has been a change in your tenant's circumstances, more benefit was paid than they were entitled to. Details of how the overpayment has been worked out are given below.' They then say when it was overpaied and the amount £283.86. 'If I decide that you must pay back the overpayment from 16 /1 /12 to 5 /2 /12 because we were not informed of your tenants changes when they happened, I will either issue an invoice or recover the overpayment from ongoing benefit'
    So is it the tenant who should pay or am I liable ?
    Help greatly appreciated. Shirley.

  • #2
    If the tenant is still in situ, you'll find that they will make a payment to you, and deduct "x" amount to go towards the arrears.

    So, let's say the tenant receives £500 every 4 weeks, they will pay £450 instead for 5 months, and £33.86 on the sixth payment.

    Your tenant owes £500 per month regardless of how much HB pay, so it is up to them to sort out any balance.
    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong


    • #3
      Thanks for reply.
      But still a little confused. Does the Housing Regs 102 (2) (a) etc., etc., state that although the payment was made to me I had no knowledge of change of circumstances blah blah blah and therefore the HB dept can't take the money from me ? Or have I misunderstood ?


      • #4
        I'm not sure of what the regulations state, but, at this point they are not asking you to repay anything, and they are unlikely to as the tenant is still there.
        What I am reasonably certain of is that they will deduct an amount from the tenants current claim that they pay direct to you.
        Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong


        • #5

          Sorry for the delay but I've been away from desk doing Welfare Reforms (Universal Credit etc) briefings all over the UK.

          In cases where, you, the landlord, receive LHA direct, the local authority is obliged to send you,as a "person affected" a copy of the LHA overpayment notice, even where it intends to recover by instalments from the tenant. As the Saint suggests this will result in the tenant's ongoing LHA award being reduced by a set figure circa £10 or £13 pw. The higher figure applying when the OP is classified as fraudulent. Having been properly notified it's thereafter up to you to collect the resulting shortfall from your tenant.



          • #6
            Thanks hb,
            So in essence they're going to reduce my payments and I chase the tenant for the money......wont happen....he doesn't have enough to pay me !!! I was under the impression from previous threads that I wouldn't be out of pocket as a result of failure to disclose by tenant !! What would happen, hypathetically, if HB decided he'd made a fraudulent claim from, say 6 montha ago, paid me 6 x £450.00 and he'd left the property ? Getting concerned now about HB tenants...Advice appreciated.


            • #7
              In the situation you cite, the council would probably attept to re-claim the money from you, but so long as you were not aware of the tenants fraud, then you would probably have a good chance of winning an appeal.

              If you are not going to be able to obtain the balance of your rent from the tenant, then it may be time to suggest he finds somewhere he can afford - I believe it is called a section 21 notice


              • #8

                As my earlier response explains, the council is, in fact, recovering the previous OP by reducing your tenant's ongoing entitlement. This is viewed as recovery from him NOT you! I can understand why you'd think otherwise as you have still to collect the shortfall from the tenant.

                Using your hypothetical scenario, the council might try and recover the 6 weeks OP from you but it would be wrong to do so. If the OP is caused by the tenant misrepresenting his situation (e.g. by not diclosing information about bank a/cs, income etc)and this is discovered before or after he's moved on the council shoud pursue recovery from him at his new address where his unsuspecting "new" landlord will encounter the problem of the ongoing HB being reduced to offset the recovery of the OP.

                I hope you now understand the distinction.



                • #9
                  hbadvocacy, Thanks for your reply and explanation.I understand the difference now and will bear this in mind for the future including the fact that it's me that will suffer if the tenant lies and gets found out ! Luckily on this occasion it's only £283.00 and it looks like the payback is £10 per week...glad it's not been going on for years. perhaps they might in the future take it from his dole money although it's a different department I suppose. Thanks for your help and I'll just carry on moaning to myself for the rest of the evening !!ha ha


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