Tenant fraudulently told court claiming housing benefit

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  • Tenant fraudulently told court claiming housing benefit

    I have some nightmare tenants (mentioned in previous posts) who I have taken to court and attempted bailiff's to remove, but was postponed due to an appeal yesterday, they are over 6 months in arrears and have told the judge (after hearing 2 months ago that Housing benefit that they applied for several months ago still hasn't materialized),so the judge has given them until February to wait for the benefit to catch up.
    Just rang the housing benefit people today (as tenents are over 8 weeks in arrears I can apply for benefit to be paid directly to me) they informed me that no benefit claim has been made under their names or at my (tenant's)address.
    I do not know what to do, as they are obviously lying and commiting fraud, I desperately need to get them out before Feb (as they will be 9 months in arrears by then), [U]Who doI need tospeak to???
    Housing Benefit say that no fraud is commited against them as no claim has been made. These people are a NIGHTMARE!!!! Heeelp

  • #2
    Ask the Housing Benefit people to put in writing that no claim has been received from the tenants or from your address and as soon as you receive it, send a copy to the court, with a covering letter reporting them for contempt of court and requesting that your hearing be brought forward as a matter of urgency as they are clearly trying to stay in the property under false pretences.

    When you say you've tried to get the bailiffs involved, do you mean that you have tried to get a judgment giving you permission to use them or what?

    Just had a thought, if you bring the letter from Housing Ben in to the bailiffs THEY might be able to put it before the judge, which would get a better and firmer response, I reckon.

    This kind of behaviour makes my blood boil, I really hope you can get your place back and you can get some of your money back.

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    • #3
      Tried to get the bailiffs to evict them as an order for possession was made on the 7th November, but as the tenants appealed (i.e.husband had left her with two children and was waiting for housing benefits to pay up....false sobs story) bailiffs returned the fee until the appeal which was yesterday (judge has given them more time until February!!!
      Thanks for the tip I will ask the woman (I have her name & phone number) at the housing benefits office if she will do that for me. Fingers crossed

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      • #4
        court issues

        It might be worthwhile talking to the Police... if as you say then the tenant might be guilty of fraud / deception, particularly if lied in court.

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        • #5
          I cannot believe what has happened, rang the woman at Housing Benefits to confirm everything which she did, I then asked her to put it in writing and she passed on an email address to which I wrote asking for them to forward details to my solicitor and they returned a reply stating...

          Unfortunately, due to the Data Protection Act I an unable to disclose any information with regards to any potential claim for Housing Benefit that may or may not have been submitted in respect of those people named below.

          They have already told me, but will not put it in writing,any ideas whereI go from here? YThis data protection act is stuffing me at every turn.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by dippydora View Post
            I cannot believe what has happened, rang the woman at Housing Benefits to confirm everything which she did, I then asked her to put it in writing and she passed on an email address to which I wrote asking for them to forward details to my solicitor and they returned a reply stating...

            Unfortunately, due to the Data Protection Act I an unable to disclose any information with regards to any potential claim for Housing Benefit that may or may not have been submitted in respect of those people named below.

            They have already told me, but will not put it in writing,any ideas whereI go from here? YThis data protection act is stuffing me at every turn.
            If they told you this info verbally then they already HAVE breached the data protection act. As you are the property owner writing to confirm there is no claim for the property should not be a breach as they would not have to supply any individual's particulars to do so. Edit to add-if you write into court then I assume the court can order that they give the information though I am happy to be corrected by anyone with further knowledge on this.

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            • #7
              Quote Section 35 of the Data Protection Act to them. This allows them to give the information in connection with legal proceedings without breaking the law.

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              • #8
                Do a bit of work here and google "data protection act" and then read it. Properly. It will furnish you with the correct response to the Housing Benefits office brush-off.

                Oh ok, I've already got the link. But DO save this link as you can bet your boots you'll have it thrown in your face time and time again.

                Look particularly at Schedule 4, which shows where the DPA does NOT apply:

                Part IV Exemptions

                35 Disclosures required by law or made in connection with legal proceedings etc
                (1) Personal data are exempt from the non-disclosure provisions where the disclosure is required by or under any enactment, by any rule of law or by the order of a court.
                (2) Personal data are exempt from the non-disclosure provisions where the disclosure is necessary—
                (a) for the purpose of, or in connection with, any legal proceedings (including prospective legal proceedings), or
                (b) for the purpose of obtaining legal advice,
                or is otherwise necessary for the purposes of establishing, exercising or defending legal rights.
                (My red highlights)

                I think that kind of protects the data controller from possible problems with the DPA so they should have no trouble at all in providing you with the information you have requested.

                Bum, DJB beat me to it!

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                • #9
                  Only problem is that S35 does not FORCE the data user to release the information if they are unwilling to.

                  If you get nowhere with the HB unit - ask to speak to the council's Data Protection Officer.

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                  • #10
                    This is true, but you would be able to inform the court of what you know, tell them that the Housing Benefit people told you but are not willing to put it in writing but would have to if the court so ordered...

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                    • #11
                      I have already emailed HB dept. quoting S.35 of the DPA and they have not responded so far. I also emailed asking for HB benefit to be forwarded to myself as the landlord, as tenant is over 8 weeks in arrears, NO RESPONSE
                      I am going to take this higher I think....

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                      • #12
                        Thank you very much davidjohnbutton I did speak to the council's data protection officer and I had already quoted the section 35 of the Data Protection Act and.. lo and behold ... a written email has returned confirming that the tenants have no Hb claim against my address so are blatantly lying...
                        Now I have to decide how best to use this info... any more idea???

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                        • #13
                          Does anyone know for sure what I need to do next?
                          Can I use the fact that tenants have lied to stay on to speed up proceedings?
                          If so to whom do I need to speak?
                          Will I have to wait until the appeal date in Feb to present this information?
                          This is absolutely driving me mad...
                          I know they are lying, my neighbours have told me tenants been on holiday 3 times this year including Sri Lanka and
                          neighbours tell me that my tenants permenantly have all the curtain/blinds shut & Tenant has said that her husband has left her, but my adjoining neighbour says she hears her husband's voice shouting & arguing, but obviously I cannot prove this-can I use this information in court?
                          can a solicitor do anything to help?

                          Advice please

                          Help help help

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                          • #14
                            Speak to the Court Manager and ask for an urgent appointment in front of the judge and put your info forward.

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                            • #15
                              I'm suprised that the judge did not require evidence of the defendants claim for housing benefit.

                              This data protection needs sorting out.

                              I have spoken to the council about similar matters and quoted the data protection act as with regards to gaining information.It was agreed that they can give it but they had a problem with to whom.The police have the same problem.
                              Mrs Dingle

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