Reclaiming housing benefit over payment

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    Paul Owen

    Hi All

    i have a tenant who the local HB office are reclaiming overpayment of housing benefit from his ongoing 4 weekly housing benefit allowance.9 HE HAS DONE SOME WORK OVER THE SUMMER) I appealed against this telling them they cannot claim this money back from the landlord, yet they state that they are claiming it for the tenant as it his housing benefit allowance they are deducting it from.

    My tenant is now in arrears because of this!

    Any advice greatly welcome!

    Kevin D

    It’s a technical point. If the LA has specified that recovery of an overpayment is from the claimant, any reduction of ongoing HB is considered to be recovery from the claimant even though payments to the landlord are reduced. In those circumstances, it is up to the tenant to make good the difference between the amount of HB paid to the LL and the rent charge.

    In my view, any appeal would be futile – there is a Commissioner’s decision on this ([b]R(H ) 07/04[/b]).

    David Morrison

    Hi Paul

    If it’s any consolation, I’ve just had the same happen to me. One of my tenants was re-assessed after they took a part time job a few months ago and as her HB is paid direct to me, they are making a £40 a period (i.e. a 4 week period) deduction from the payments over the next 5 periods to recover the overpayment.

    I had a chat with the HB officer and my contact within the council’s accreditation scheme and it’s right… they are not deducting the money from me, they are deducting it from the tenant (i.e. their claimant) and it’s down to me to get the difference from the tenant.

    Pain in the a**e these LHA tenants! She said she wishes she never bothered taking the job, which she has since left, as she was better off on benefits. It’s a sad fact of life that most people on benefits are actually better off NOT getting a job… a real incentive NOT to work and remain in the benefits trap IMHO 🙁


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