HB tenant with secret partner; should I tell?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    HB tenant with secret partner; should I tell?

    I have been told that a Housing Benefit tenant I deal with, may have a live-in partner.
    I'm sure the HB think its a single occupancy situation( i dont deal with them), so potentially there is a fraud going on. The law says I must report it, or HB may be liable to claw back.

    I am going to ask T if they have a lodger staying there.

    If T swears blind that its not true, is it still my duty to inform housing benefit that somebody has bought it to my attention that there may be another person living there. Or have I done my duty by questioning the tenant?
    All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

    * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *

    You can search the forums here:

    #2
    Originally posted by Bel View Post
    If T swears blind that its not true, is it still my duty to inform housing benefit that somebody has bought it to my attention that there may be another person living there. Or have I done my duty by questioning the tenant?
    I suppose it's a bit of a grey area... you need to consider what would happen if your informant decides to direct to the HB people and report it to them, adding that they have already informed the landlord, who has done nothing about it?

    Comment


      #3
      HI Bel,

      This is me going to come under the influence of people disagreeing with me, but please understand that we all do things differently.

      I personally would keep my mouth shut, for the following reasons.

      1) If you are being paid HB and the claim is stopped it then changes to LHA in which case the tenant is being paid the rent to pay you.
      2) If you report it you may end up with a huge repayment to the council, which is not your fault.
      3) If the rent is reclaimed by HB then you will more than likely have to evict the tenant which means months of going through the court system and loosing even more money. lets say that you have only 4months rent reclaimed then you have to evict and tenant doesnt pay, you then have to issue court proceedings and that takes time and money, could be another 4months easily which then puts you 8months down plus court costs and bailiffs costs (if required)
      4)I understand the HB legislation and you cant be expected to be aware that the tenants have a live in partner, also if he is staying less than 4days a week then he is only a guest not a live in partner, so no fraud being committed.

      Only my opinion, I have done it several times, just keep my mouth shut and drift on, if the council find out just plead ignorance, and fight the reclaim on the grounds that you couldnt have reasonably known that your tenant had moved in Boy friend. I have lots of DSS tenants and they tend to know what they are doing and so far had very little problems on clawbacks, had a few some I fought and won and 2 that I lost.

      Hope this helps

      Jax


      Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
      I suppose it's a bit of a grey area... you need to consider what would happen if your informant decides to direct to the HB people and report it to them, adding that they have already informed the landlord, who has done nothing about it?

      Comment


        #4
        I agree unless you like aggro!

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Bel View Post
          I am going to ask T if they have a lodger staying there.

          If T swears blind that its not true, is it still my duty to inform housing benefit that somebody has bought it to my attention that there may be another person living there. Or have I done my duty by questioning the tenant?
          Sounds more than reasonable to me.

          When quoting your informant, you say that the tenant may have a live-in partner. "May" is not evidence enough, and I wonder why your informant has not blabbed to HB direct - is there reason to think that the allegation is vindictive?

          If you say to the tenant, "Someone has told me that you have someone living with you. Is this true?" If the answer is affirmative, tell her to get rid asap, as your informant might well tell the council. If no, then you are in the clear.
          On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Because of the number of posts I have done, I am now a Senior Member. However, read anything I write with the above in mind.

          Comment


            #6
            Maybe keep things friendly with your informant. Say you have looked into it and must respect the tenant's right to privacy. Before contemplating taking any further action you have to have personal evidence that the person, alleged to be sharing the tenancy is not just a visitor or guest and for this you cannot rely on hearsay.
            Vic - wicked landlord
            Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
            Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.

            Comment


              #7
              Book in a few inspections and maintenance visits and make a writen report for your ref. If you tell the T in advance you know there wont be any evidence of a 2nd person so if asked by council you can honestly state no 2nd person was there.

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks for everyone's views.

                I asked the T, and he said a mate just stayed over on the sofa a couple of nights a week for convenience of location, but this mate had a permanent address elsewhere in town. He assured me that he was not sharing and realised that it could get him into trouble with HB and would not do that.

                I actually believe him. I will probably write a letter to the tenant confirming what was said as evidence of my investigation just in case I ever need to cover myself.
                All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

                * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *

                You can search the forums here:

                Comment

                Latest Activity

                Collapse

                Working...
                X