Fraudulent completed certificate of rent

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  • #31573
    jbj
    Participant

    Hello
    Please can I have some thoughts. Senrio

    Customer claims HB – submits a form which at the time looks OK – supplies a certificate of rent for £300.00pcm which looks ok and HB is paid to him to his bank.
    Customer leaves accomodation-
    Our Fraud section get a call from the LL – stating she has received post for him – he no longer lives there and they did not complete the certificate of rent for him or know he was claiming HB.

    On a witness statement taken from the landlord, they have said he did rent a room for £300.00pcm but asked him not to claim benefit and the signature on the cert of rent was not the landlords and he had not completed it. ( the landlord is a head tenant – not on benefit – who sub let to customer)

    Now we know the document is false, does this have an impact on the benefit that has been paid to customer – even though at the later date , after vacation, the landlord has confirmed a rental charge of £300.00pcm for the room.

    Does this false document invalidate the claim from the start from when it was set up.
    Thank you

    #88265
    Kevin D
    Participant

    This earlier thread may be of interest – it’s not quite the same scenario as yours though:
    http://hbinfo.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=21404

    The difficulty is that, in your case, there was an actual liability. The provision of false evidence doesn’t negate that. In turn, I don’t see there is much you can do in this particular case (other than in respect of any overpayment after the date of vacation).

    It’s conceivable the clmt could be open to prosecution for providing a false accounting document, but it won’t affect the amount of HB payable.

    #88266
    jbj
    Participant

    Thanks kevin – thought that was the case –

    It seems strange that someone can gain HB from producing a false document.

    If he had not produced the false certifcate of rent – we would have asked him for evidence of his rent which he would not have been able to supply as his landlord would not have given it to him – so would have “nilled “his claim for not having sufficient information to make an award of HB

    #88267
    JohnH
    Participant

    [quote:81600ebaa5=”jbj”]
    It seems strange that someone can gain HB from producing a false document.

    If he had not produced the false certifcate of rent – we would have asked him for evidence of his rent which he would not have been able to supply as his landlord would not have given it to him – so would have “nilled “his claim for not having sufficient information to make an award of HB[/quote:81600ebaa5]

    Humm. A couple of points might be helpful.

    1) Entitlement to benefit is dependant of a liablity to pay rent for the right of occupy and not the document that is provided as evidence of this. In this case the evidence provided was false but the fact was not – they were liable to pay rent. As an aside one might ask the landlord why they refused to give evidence of the contract between them which I would expect regardless of any benefit claim. It often amazes me how much money people will pay over with absolutly no evidence that the transaction has taken place.

    2) The second point concerns the conseqeneces of the production of a false document. If it was done to obtain some gain to which they were not otherwise entitled then that is a fraud – a criminal offence. That would be a matter for the courts.

    Not sure that add much though 🙄

    #88268
    jbj
    Participant

    Thanks John

    We agree the rental liability is there, however, if we now dont have the correct evidence of his rental liability that is required to pay HB, should we now consider the award made to be invalid

    The reason the landlord did not want to provide evidence is that the customer is a sub tenant of the head teant – who in their contract cannot sub let out – and presume he thought it may have re procussions oh is tenancy with the owner. Am not going into that side of things as it was to do with being “unlawful” as appoosed to “illegal” so is owner and tenant dispute.

    #88269
    andyrichards
    Participant

    Can’t resist suggesting that it may be a little harsh to conclude that someone has “gained” from actually getting what they were entitled to, when the main obstacle was the uncooperative and possibly unlawful actions of the landlord.

    #88270
    jbj
    Participant

    Thank you all for comments

    #88271
    JohnH
    Participant

    Hi
    You raise the question of correct evidence.

    I think the only issue is whether you have sufficient evidence to justify the award of benefit. The evidence you have no longer does this because it is a fabrication but the lanldord has confirmed that the rent was charged and paid so provided that this is part of the record there should be no problem.

    John

    #88272
    Anonymous
    Guest

    [quote:1da78381d3]if we now dont have the correct evidence of his rental liability that is required to pay HB, should we now consider the award made to be invalid [/quote:1da78381d3]
    But the landlord has already confirmed the level of rent that was charged…! You should make decisions based on facts rather than evidence. You received a piece of evidence that led you to believe (as a fact) that the claimant was paying rent of £300 pcm. You now know that evidence was false, but you have another piece of evidence (the statement from the landlord) that confirms the rent was £300 pcm. The facts have not changed so there are no grounds to revise the original award.

    [quote:1da78381d3]If he had not produced the false certifcate of rent – we would have asked him for evidence of his rent which he would not have been able to supply as his landlord would not have given it to him – so would have “nilled “his claim for not having sufficient information to make an award of HB[/quote:1da78381d3]
    Maybe this claimant has heard about your potentially unlawful practice of “nilling” claims where the claimant is unable to provide documentary evidence that they do not have and are unable to obtain, and because of this he created the rent certificate that he knew you would require…? 😉

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