Reg 95 – payment should have gone to l/lord but went to clt

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  • #23441
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Hi

    Anyone ever had a situation where under Reg 95 the claimant was more than 8 weeks in arrears, landlord informed the benefits section but payments were still made to the claimant.

    Claimant then absconded and didn’t pay the payment on…landlord then wants duplicate payment to be made to him as authority paid incorrectly.

    I know landlord will have right of appeal but does anyone have any idea where we would stand with this??? 😕

    Any response greatly appreciated! Thanks

    #12543
    Kevin D
    Participant

    There is no provision allowing HB to be paid twice for the same period.

    The only option is for the LA to consider paying compensation to the L/L (outside the HB scheme).

    [Edit]: Should have added: There is no legal requirement on the clmt to use HB to pay rent – it doesn’t count as theft even if the clmt spends the money on something entirely unrelated (see [b:7a2db6dcc0]DPP v Huskinson (1988) 152 JP 582 Crim LR 620 QBD[/b:7a2db6dcc0]).

    Regards

    #12544
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Hi Kevin

    Thanks for that.

    From an appeals perspective – if this went to tribunal and the authority was found in breach of Reg 95 could we be made to pay???

    #12545
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Not sure if the Tribunal could force a payment as compensation would be outside HB scheme, but the landlord may be directed to the Ombudsman

    #12546
    Kevin D
    Participant

    No – the LA cannot be made to pay HB that has already been paid. If the Tribunal find as such, it should go straight to Cmmrs.

    In anticipation of an argument that the clmt has been “overpaid”, that would also be wrong. There can only be an overpayment if the clmt has no entitlement – see [b:28cb257478]HBR 99[/b:28cb257478]. In this case, there is entitlement. It’s just been paid to the wrong person.

    If the L/L pursues a complaint (in addition to an appeal), the LA should probably look generously at offering compensation. But, there is no legal obligation to do so – not even if the Ombudsman makes such a finding.

    Regards

    #12547
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Is there a link to the Huskinson case? I’ve been trying to find one for some time….

    #12548
    Bobkirkpatrick
    Participant

    The landlord would have an almost watertight case if he used your complaints procedure and then, if necessary, went to the Local Government Ombudsman in order to get compensation equal to the “lost” HB.

    To some extent, the procedure the landlord should use would depend on why payment was made to the tenant. If the authority made a decision to pay the tenant, that decision is appealable. The decision to pay the claimant would then be capable of being revised by a Tribunal.

    On the other hand, if it was simply a mistake – which appears to be the case here – by the local authority, the landlord’s redress would be via a formal complaint (and the Ombudsman if necessary).

    There are precedents set by the Ombudsman in this respect – see, for example, complaint no. 92/A/3397 (London Borough of Haringey), 99/B/04581 (Southend-on-Sea Borough Council) and 00/c/05755 (Barrow-in-Furness Borough Council).

    It is also worth bearing in mind the “Guidance on Good Practice – Remedies” booklet published by the Ombudsman:

    “Complaints may come from landlords. They will generally also be about delay in determining or paying a claim…….The complaint may, however, be about a failure to pay the landlord rather than the tenant, and compensation in such a case should relate to the amount of rent loss as a result of maladministration.”

    The Ombudsman would certainly recommend you pay compensation to the landlord equal to the amount of HB paid to the claimant, plus you’d be asked to pay an extra amount for the landlord’s time and trouble in bringing the complaint.

    #12549
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    Martin – yes I have it and will ask the webmaster to put on the site for tomorrow.

    #12550
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster
    #12551
    Kevin D
    Participant

    *BUMP*

    The issue of paying HB twice for the same period has now been addressed by Cmmr Jacobs in two decisions – they should be read in conjunction with each other:

    [b:1219c1f2d3]CH/3629/2006[/b:1219c1f2d3] https://hbinfo.org/comdecs/ch_3629_2006.doc
    [b:1219c1f2d3]CH/1821/2006[/b:1219c1f2d3] https://hbinfo.org/comdecs/ch_1821_2006.doc

    In the briefest summary (and a little oversimplified), HB paid to the “wrong” party cannot be paid again to the “correct” party. The two courses of action available are:

    1) the “wronged” party should pursue legal action against the other party; and/or

    2) complaint / compensation claim against the LA.

    Regards

    #12552
    Kevin D
    Participant

    *BUMP 2*

    A very entertaining CD (er, so long as you’re not the LA concerned) has been issued. [b:eef8009807]CH/0180/2006[/b:eef8009807] is another case where the LA paid HB to a tenant instead of the L/L. Nothing new in law (HB can’t be paid twice), but Cmmr Mark makes some strong points clarifying (reiterating?) aspects of “decision” and “notifications” and “person affected”.

    http://www.osscsc.gov.uk/aspx/view.aspx?id=2183

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