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hitman126

Overpayment of Housing Benefit

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Hello,

 

 

I will really appreciate some sound advise on this matter.

 

Just over two years ago, my local county court followed up a repossession order on my tenant and evicted her from my property. Her rent during her tenancy was paid by the Council through Housing Benefit.

 

Two years later, having confined this nightmare tenant well into the historical books along with all her tenancy paperwork, I am suddenly being pursued by the Council to repay some overpaid Housing Benefit that I have no recollection of.

 

I am really vexed over this matter, particularly as the council are insistent there was an overpayment on the final Housing Benefit they paid to me. Worst still, having recently moved house, I have no bank statements or records at hand for the period in question, to support a full defence.

 

My question therefore is:

 

1) Are there any rules and regulations that the Council has to adhere to, for example deadline dates for making such claims?

 

2) Are there any tips other forum users can provide in my attempt to do battle with my Council?

 

Thank you.

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I would advise you to get copies of the bank statement for the last 3 years, furthermore I would ask the council to provide proof that they have overpaid you, ie they should be able to tell you when the last payment was because they do pay in arrears.

I think the first thing you have to tell the council is that you have to check to make sure an overpayment was made and received by you.


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I was under the impression that any over-payment of benefit is the responsibility of the claimant. You haven't entered into any agreement with the council it was between you & the tenant.

 

Personally I would tell them to prove that you owe them anything.


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Any over payment is the responsibility of the tenant if the tenant received the benefit then paid it on to the landlord, if it went to the landlord directly then the council will claim it back from the landlord and not the tenant.

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Hi, part 13 here

 

The Housing Benefit Regulations 2006

 

deals with housing benefit overpayments.

 

What I would be asking is," How did this "alleged" overpayment come about?"

If it is a council error then they should suck it up. If they paid the tenant directly then they should chase the tenant.

 

If the letter you have received says "potential" overpayment, I would query it. If it is a formal demand for repayment, appeal.

 

Invariably, it is a council cock-up that causes these overpayments.

Get as much info as possible even going as far as sending a SAR to the council and as advised, get you bank statements if they show the benefit paid.

 

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I think this section answer the question;

 

PART 13

 

Overpayments

 

Meaning of overpayment

99. In this Part, "overpayment" means any amount which has been paid by way of housing benefit and to which there was no entitlement under these Regulations (whether on the initial decision as subsequently revised or further revised) and includes any amount paid on account under regulation 93 (payment on account of a rent allowance) which is in excess of the entitlement to housing benefit as subsequently decided.

 

Recoverable overpayments

100. —(1) Any overpayment, except one to which paragraph (2) applies, shall be recoverable.

 

(2) Subject to paragraph (4) this paragraph applies to an overpayment caused by an official error where the claimant or a person acting on his behalf or any other person to whom the payment is made could not, at the time of receipt of the payment or of any notice relating to that payment, reasonably have been expected to realise that it was an overpayment.

 

(3) In paragraph (2), "overpayment caused by official error" means an overpayment caused by a mistake made whether in the form of an act or omission by—

 

(a) the relevant authority;

 

(b) an officer or person acting for that authority;

 

© an officer of—

 

(i) the Department for Work and Pensions; or

 

(ii) Revenue and Customs,

 

 

acting as such; or

 

(d) a person providing services to the Department for Work and Pensions or to the Commissioners for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs,

 

 

where the claimant, a person acting on his behalf or any other person to whom the payment is made, did not cause or materially contribute to that mistake, act or omission.

 

(4) Where in consequence of an official error, a person has been awarded rent rebate to which he was not entitled or which exceeded the benefit to which he was entitled, upon the award being revised any overpayment of benefit, which remains credited to him by the relevant authority in respect of a period after the date on which the revision took place, shall be recoverable.


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Hi All,

 

 

Thanks for your prompt and extremely helpful response. Yourbank, you couldn't have hit the nail on the head any better. The council's payments were indeed made in arrears and prior to my post, I had already requested they provide me with supporting documents or proof of the overpayment as in my opinion, I owed them nothing.

 

Just to clarify, the tenant's Housing Benefit payments were made directly into my account and I'm just hoping my bank can provide me with copy statements going that far back. The annoying aspect of it all is that they simply sent an overpayment demand letter, with no details provided on the period the claim related to.

 

Will keep you all posted. Once again, thanks very much for all your help.

 

R

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