Entitlement of DSS / Council to claim back rent

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  • Entitlement of DSS / Council to claim back rent

    If a DSS tenant is making false claims and the DSS decide to recoup as much of their owed money - can the DSS obtain it back from the landlord?

    I am under the impression they can do this if rent has been paid directly from the DSS to the landlord but not if the DSS have paid the money to the tenant instead?

    Advice please.

  • #2
    Zebra - I was worried about the implications of this and a thread (Housing Benefit - Fraudulent claim) was posted recently. As you will see i went straight to the 'horses mouth' and contacted the local borough council.

    Have a look at this thread and hopefully this will help you.

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    • #3
      If the rent is paid directly to the landlord, and the tenant is claiming wrongly, then the coucil will recoup from the landlord. If the rent is paid to the tenant then the landlord will not have to pay any overpayment back. If there is a claim back from the council, they by law have to give you notice in writing and you do have the right to appeal.

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      • #4
        I don't think it is as straight forward as this Plusbit. From what I can gather every case will be judged on its merit.

        I have had several conversations with the 'claims officer' at my local borough council over the past week who informs me that it would be unlikely that they would purse the Landlord even if the money had been paid direct to him instead of the tenant. The only time they would do this is if they had reason to believe that the Landlord knew a fraudulent claim had been made and had failed to report this.

        She also gave me the impression that different borough councils take different stances on this subject.

        It is a grey area and i think they would find it very difficult to prove you knew a fraudulent claim had taken place. My advice would be to contact your local benefits officer and discuss any concerns with them.

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        • #5
          Although all councils have their own ways of doing things, there is a govement law that covers all councils. If the housing benefit is paid directly to the landlord the council will 99% of times claim it back from them, but there is a appeals procedure, and they HAVE to put it tom you in writing and give you 28 days to appeals, this is not differenct councils but all councils, and unfortunatly the people in the benefit office will not know, you will have to speak to a senior housing officer. If benefit is paid to the tenant then they can not claim anything from the landlord.

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