Reply To: overpayment – landlord does not know claimant moved!


I don’t think that will help the Council.

The above extract is from Reg 101(1) – circumstances in which a landlord is exempt from recovery by virtue of regs made under s75(3)(a) of the Administration Act – basically where the landlord grasses up a fraudulent tenant.

But Reg 101(2)(a) prescribes people from whom an overpayment is recoverable [b:1860791b23]instead of [/b:1860791b23]the person who received the money – in other words, it widens the landlord exemption and, in my view, makes Reg 101(1) otiose into the bargain. The very strong obiter remarks towards the end of the recent Tribunal of Commissioners case confirmed that:

– that is indeed what Reg 101(2)(a) now says, and
– there is authority under s75(3)(b) for it to do so.

So it doesn’t matter whether the claimant’s failure to report that s/he had moved out was deliberate or not – all that matters is that the overpayment was caused by that failure, and Reg 101(2)(a) applies. This is the problem that Councils have got since April – many would, in the past, have concluded in a judge-proof way that recovery from the claimant was impractical and reluctantly decided to chase the innocent landlord. Now they cannot do that.