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shanni10

Overpayment of Housing Benefit from a Council in 2000 - 2001

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Hi,

 

I would appreciate some advise on this matter.

 

I have received a final notice letter from Ealing Council requesting a payment of nearly £5000 for an overpayment of Housing Benefit that was paid in 2000 and 2001.

 

I rented a 2 bed flat in London, and sublet it to a friend as as it was easier for the landlord owner of the property to receive the monies in one go.

 

My friend put his application for housing benefit in May 2000 and i started to receive the monies soon after directly into my bank account.

 

I rang the lady at the debt collection department which is part of the council today, she informed me that the council realised around Oct - Nov 2001, that there was some information missing from the housing benefit application which my friend put in and hence stopped the monies coming to me. I dont recall any of this so will have to check my bank statements but I will have to go to the bank and ask them as the account is now closed. I have asked the lady to send me all the details which she confirmed she will and has given me upto one month to respond back.

 

I left the property in December 2001 hence never received the invoice to pay the monies back till now. This is the first time they have been able to get hold of me since Dec 2001 and are now asking me to pay the full amount of overpayment. I have had a look at the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 and 2008 but am not sure if I am covered by it therefore not having to pay out.

 

Secondly they have threatened to go to court and issue a CCJ against me. I informed the lady that she would not be able to as I believe I am covered by the Limitations Act 1980 where a debt over 6 years cannot be taken via the courts. Please confirm if this correct or not.

 

What I want to know is I am covered by the Housing Benefit Regulations because they realised over a year later that they did not have all the information but paid me till they realised this. Would this constitute as an error on their behalf for not checking the information throughly before paying out the housing benefit? If so, is there a sample letter I can write to them with the necessary details and regulations that I can send to them? I dont feel I should be paying this money back because I did not contribute to the mistake and I did not know at the time that it was an overpayment, plus the monies never went into my pocket but to my landlord.

 

 

Thank you.

 

Regards

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Hi,

 

Secondly they have threatened to go to court and issue a CCJ against me. I informed the lady that she would not be able to as I believe I am covered by the Limitations Act 1980 where a debt over 6 years cannot be taken via the courts. Please confirm if this correct or not.

 

 

Correct, but I would advise you get a professional opinion to be sure. :cool:

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Thanks, however am I protected by the Housing Benefit Regulations therefore do not need to pay?

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