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Forgetting to inform Council of a non-dependent


mattcraiganon3
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Hi,

 

Had a huge panic today! I moved in with my girlfriend's mum in September when I started work in Manchester. I naively assumed that the house was owned, when today I find out it's a council house. So now I realise that by not informing the Council that I've moved in (which they require!!) that she may have royally screwed up in terms of the law.

 

To my knowledge, ordinarily you get assessed on each non-dependent living with you and have an amount removed from your housing benefit accordingly. However the house is under the name of someone who receives the disability care component allowance, and counts as an exception to this rule. The mum is a live-in, full-time carer for him. As such, the only benefit they receive is a disability allowance and not housing benefit.

 

As the exception to the rule, even though she didn't inform the Council that I'd moved in, there wouldn't have been any difference to the amount they owed due to non-dependants right?

 

If I inform them this week that I've moved in, are they likely to take criminal action? Fine her? It was simply out of ignorance that she didn't inform them, not any malice or intent to fraudulently let me live there!

 

They haven't approached us about me living there the past four months, but surely it's a matter of time and better to come forward? Any advice?

 

Thanks!

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Hi matt, and welcome to CAG! :-)

 

It's definitely better to get in first.

 

I don't know if there will be any difference in the amount, but the main thing is to phone up and tell them.

 

I don't see them taking any action against her if there has been no monetary benefit. I would be very nice when you phone up and actually ask if there is anything you need to pay. There probably won't be, as you say, but it will show you are genuine.

 

DD

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The guidance I have had from my local council is to "inform them of a change in circumstances within a reasonable period" - They do suggest within 21 days, but I've stretched this to longer periods on the grounds that they are somewhat tardy in responding to my queries, so what is good enough for them is good enough for me... Six months on, I'm still waiting for them to produce an accurate figure for council tax relief.

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Hi matt, and welcome to CAG! :-)

 

It's definitely better to get in first.

 

I don't know if there will be any difference in the amount, but the main thing is to phone up and tell them.

 

I don't see them taking any action against her if there has been no monetary benefit. I would be very nice when you phone up and actually ask if there is anything you need to pay. There probably won't be, as you say, but it will show you are genuine.

 

DD

 

Thank you :) can you define monetary benefit? I transferred £50 (once in December) online to help pay for some bills, but could pass this off as a one-off transfer as it could be for anything really!

 

I'm worried that they'll think she's tried to defraud them when really it was just sheer ignorance and carelessness :(

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I take "monetary benefit" in this context to mean being credited (paid) council tax benefit or other benefits that she would not have been entitled to as a result of you moving in - Chances are, if there was an overpayment, it would have be a nominal amount.

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I didn't mean that. I meant if she had been claiming HB, CTB or anything like that which she hasn't.

 

From what Mr P says above, I expect they'll be fine.

 

 

Thanks! In terms of council tax (I don't know the full details, will have to speak to the mum tonight), this would presumably go up at least a little because of the change from 50% reduction (when no dependants are present) to 25% (when one or more dependant is present). So would that need to be repaid?

 

Do you know if people who are solely on disability allowance will pay anything towards their council tax? Does this depend on who else lives there?

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Thanks :) Do you know anyone here who's particularly informed on these things?

 

I'll await a few more replies and get onto this tomorrow. If I have to repay something so be it, the main thing is that we avoid any liability or criminal charges for being careless!

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Council tax reduction is now set by each local authority, so your LA will set their own crtieria. My LA 'protects' people from contributing towards their council tax bill if they are in receipt of DLA however other LA's expect everyone to contribute. You will need to find out your LA's criteria which should be on their website.

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Council tax reduction is now set by each local authority, so your LA will set their own crtieria. My LA 'protects' people from contributing towards their council tax bill if they are in receipt of DLA however other LA's expect everyone to contribute. You will need to find out your LA's criteria which should be on their website.

 

Thank you for that. I'm not sure if our house is owned by Manchester City Council or the company who's responsibility it is to apparently fix it 'when it goes wrong' (words of the mother), who are called Eastlands Homes. Which would be responsible for council tax? presumably manchester city council and nothing to do with Eastlands Homes? Do I contact them as well as the Council to inform them I live there?

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I am sure there will be no criminal charges for being careless!

 

The Council apparently know nothing about it, so I'm sure they'll be delighted to hear from you with an offer to pay - if there is anything to pay.

 

Haha this point is very true... makes me feel a little less worried. Thanks for the help!

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If the person claiming HB has DLA care component then housing benefit won't be affected at all, though they do need to be informed. But no overpayment there.

 

 

Council tax reduction will depend on the rules of the council's own scheme.

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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If the person claiming HB has DLA care component then housing benefit won't be affected at all, though they do need to be informed. But no overpayment there.

 

 

Council tax reduction will depend on the rules of the council's own scheme.

 

I love you.

 

Steady on :) But thanks for putting my mind at rest. I just think she's incredibly lucky to get away with being so careless, thankfully due to the disability allowance the only thing I should have to repay is council tax, which for us is Band A for 4 months i.e. a mere £300 or so.

 

I am a lucky man. Thanks!

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Quite similar circumstances to me. I allowed my partners daughter to move back in with us, this was meant to be temporary so never notified council of change as it never knew how long it would be for. Just recently found out the chances of daughter in law returning to where she lived before is now zero so will have to let council know.

I suspect they won't be that pleased as if i've done my math correctly it'll actually be costing them more by a total of about £20-£25 pcm. If they want to backdate the payments then it's fine by me.

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