Landlord Overpayment

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  • #43914
    John Boxall
    Participant

    I have an appeal by a landlord against a decision that they are liable to repay an overpayment.  Before I take it to Tribunal I would appreciate any comments or advice.

    The background to the situation is that it is strongly suggested that the claimant delibaratley moved out without telling The Council or the landlord to cause trouble.

    Basically……………

    Claimant moved out, his mother confirmed that she helped him to move and the date, in November.  At about the same time a deposit bond was reissued at the landlords request.  Normally the tenant would also be asked to agree to this but he was not contactable.

    In January the landlord visited the property for a three month check, they do not seem to have had any contact with the tenant at this time. I have decided that at this point they should have been aware that the tenant had left, however they say they found a new bike & TV in the premises.

    The current situation is that I am holding the tenant liable for the overpayment up to the point of the inspection and the landlords from that date.  The landlords are still appealing saying when they visiyed there was nothing to suggest he had gone and it's not up to them to police their tenants lives.   They are also saying that the tenat had another tenancy by then (I'm not sure that he did but anyway) and he cant legally hold two tenancy's ( I cannot see any justification for this)

    Comments and caselaw anyone?

    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and—and in short you are for ever floored.

    Wilkins Micawber, Ch12 David Copperfield

    #124711
    petedavies
    Participant

    I think I’m with the LL on this one – unless you have something to show that their assumption was completely unreasonable or that there was some compelling rason for them to confirm residency. The statement regarding multiple tenancies is rubbish although the terms of the T.A.s may seek to impose such a restriction. I cannot see what difference it would make even if it were the case – there would still be a liability to pay “rent” in the HB sense of the word even if it were not rent in the pure sense of the word.

    #124712
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    CH/2064/2009

    is perhaps the clearest decision on this. It always comes down to the same issue though; credibility of the landlord. Did the landlord really think the tenant was still living at the prperty when they visited or did they think HB is in payment so I dont need to ask too much? If the former, then the OP is only recoverable from the tenant. If the latter, then both the landlord and tenant are targets.

    I agree that a tenant can have as many tenancies as they want…if they can pay for them.

    #124714
    nick dearnley
    Participant

    I think I’d stick to the simple line that as the overpayment was caused by a vacation reg 101 doesn’t prohibit recovery from the LL and it’s a discretionary choice.

    I don’t agree that it isn’t up to the LL to police their tenants – if they know (and I think they should) anything about the HB scheme they should be aware that they could be a recovery target and take their own steps to mitigate the risk, including keeping an eye on their tenants. that they could not contact the tenant about the bond should have rung alarm bells.

    They might have an argument that they did all they reasonably could and that the tenant was clearly a bit dodgy and they can’t spy on them every day, but I think that is for them to make out at the hearing. I guess they could argue that the overpayment was caused by the tenant not notifying you of the move, and that if it’s down to the tenant from the start it should all be down to them.

    #124715
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    Reg 101 does not apply to this type of issue.

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