Housing Benefit start and end of claim

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    We are an RSL offering weekly tenancies.The local authority has decided to commence HB entitlement only from the date the tenant actually moves in to the property and to end it the date the tenant leaves the property,even if these dates are mid-week.This has the inevitable consequence of the tenant being in arrears of rent even for a couple of days at the start of the tenancy, and at the end of the tenancy should the tenant move out a couple of days before the end of the tenancy.Naturally we are of course being pursued for repayment of any overpayment.
    Can the LA firstly pay benefit for parts of a week for weekly tenancies and secondly pursue us for any overpayment?


    The answer to the first part of your question is YES. It is now correct that LAs should not pay HB until the tenant moves in. As for moving out, then it depends. If to another property in the same LA then they are correct in ending it on the day the person moved out, so that the claim can be paid for the new address from the next day (unless there is any provision for payment on 2 homes, – but that’s a different matter). 😉

    Can the LA pursue you for any overpayment – well, perhaps not ANY overpayment (the LA would have to take into consideration who it paid the HB to – did you get it paid direct? -, why the overpayment happened, could you have been expected to realise there was an overpayment, and a couple of other factors also.) :15:

    The intention is that if you do not feel that HB overpayments should be recovered from yourselves, you can appeal against the target of recovery (shouldn’t be us, should be someone else, guv). However, it is possible that the o/p can be reclaimed from you, and if you knew the tenant had moved out, and you got Benefit for the whole week, then there are those who would argue that you should have realised there was going to be an overpayment. 😯
    There again, there are those who would argue that you could not have realised that. (Waits for postings from Stainsby or Bob Kirkpatrick…. draws deep breath and continues).
    Its very much a matter of circumstances in each individual case. Yer pays yer money, and yer takes yer choice!! 8)

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