Landlord overpayment recovery

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  • #39739
    rds01
    Participant

    We have found out that a claimant, who is SMI, moved out of the property 2 years ago. He did not tell us or LL he had vacated. He has claimed HB at another LA since 2009 so we ended claim, resulting in an OP. We paid HB to LL so invoiced LL who have now gots sols to appeal (albeit out of time). There arguement is that the CL did not tell LL and they had no way of knowing. Are we still able to pursue LL for OP? Thanks

    #113227
    Andy Thurman
    Keymaster

    You will need to consider the plausibility or otherwise of the landlord’s statement – 2 years is an awfully long time for a landlord not to have visited. (Checks on heating systems/any appliances etc. would surely have been done?) Any evidence of anyone else occupying?

    It may be appropriate to “apportion” the debt – 1st part not recoverable from landlord – if you determine that their argument holds initially, up to any date from which you decide it no longer applies.

    #113228
    rds01
    Participant

    There was another tenant in the proeprty but he did not tell the LL either? The CL left possessions in the property and the LL was aware he was in hospital for a short period in 2010 (not sure how). Does reg 101 (2) allow us to recover from LL? Thanks.

    #113231
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    The basic rule is that you can recover from landlord but only from the date they knew property was empty / had been permanently vacated. That is a matter of fact that the decision maker (and tribunal) need to decide based on the evidence. So if you think the landlord always knew, then the OP is recoverable in full from that landlord. If you think the landlord did not know for the first 4 months then you must aportion the debt and the first amount will only be recoverable from the tenant. What amounts you actually decide to recover is a different matter of course. All the overpayment is recoverable from the tenant (or appointee?).

    These cases often come down to credibility – whom you believe knew what and when. You often cannot prove it either way – this is a judgement call that many not suprisingly struggle with I know. Weighting of evidence and so on. Best to let it go to a Tribunal and let an independent lawyer decide.

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