Reply To: Commissioners/Upper Tribunal decision needed

#163839
BENREZA
Participant

Sorry to resurrect an old thread but I was hoping for some advice or an opinion…

Our normal procedure is to suspend recovery when we receive a request for a reconsideration and appeal until such time as the decision has been made, as is best practice. However, we currently have a case where a landlord/ agent has many outstanding overpayments including one where the overpayment is over £4000, in this case they have admitted that they were aware that they were being overpaid, but did not advise us of what they say they thought was a clerical error They have none the less proceeded to appeal. Unfortunately HMCTS have a delay with hearings of approx 20 weeks. The appeal decision was made in June last year and we waited until January 18 for a hearing only for the LL/agent to ask for an adjournment because they did not receive notice of the hearing, a delaying tactic! We are now aware that the LL/Agent is intending on folding the business ( Ltd company) and  restarting it under a different name ( the new company has already been registered with companies house). From a recovery point of view this would mean we could not recover the overpayment on this case and all the others outstanding which are currently under dispute.

The LL has confirmed that the business will end around 1 March 2018 so we have a very small window to recover some of the money, we were thinking that we could recover via blameless tenant by unsuspending the recovery in these cases, to maximise recovery.  Does anyone think this would be a problem especially in this circumstance as we will have to write off all the overpayments come 1 March. Obviously aware of the case law and judge Williams decision but in order to protect public money does anyone know of anything in law that would prevent us from doing this. If they ultimately win their appeal , however unlikely, we would refund. Any advice or ideas on this would be much appreciated.