Reply To: I am I being too cynical…?


Ah, if wishes were horses and Land Registry searches were free……

I agree with Peter in that I would do a Land Registry search on all properties with private landlords (with the exception of RSLs) and in one LA I worked for we did just that. The Fraud Team had an award from the Challenge Fund (I think!) and a dedicated terminal linking with the Land Registry so they could conduct their own searches. In this case, I don’t think it unreasonable to establish who owns it.

I do take the points made about the tenancy not being unusual. I have come across many rent allowance claims where the landlord is a close relative. It is more than likely that the tenancy is “above board” and there is nothing untoward going on. I am just a nasty, suspicious man who has been assessing benefit claims for far too long.

The suggestion that we diary date (don’t even think about risk-based interventions here) and ask that the rent is being paid has merit, but not in this case as HB is paid directly to the landlord. Even if I take it further and write to, or interview, the landlord, I doubt it would turn up anything.

I think I’ll just settle for having being grumpy and distrustful in the first place and let it go.