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Question

Housing Benefit and Universal Credit (England) | Preventing Controlling and Recovering Rent Arrears (England)

Extra requirement by council for direct payment re: Reg 95

12 Sep 2016 | 2 comments

We have just requested direct payment of the Housing benefit/LHA from the council of a tenant who is more than 2months/8weeks in arrears and quoted regulation 95 and also supplied them a rent statement for the tenancy in question. This council is in a different area to the one I deal with normally who pay directly without question.

However this (new) council have asked for a declaration to be signed which I am not happy with which is:
“If you pay me too much HB for any tenant, I must repay it. You can take the amount of overpaid benefit from the HB I get for any other tenants. This will not affect their rent”

Surely the council cant add a extra requirement at local level to a housing Act? My understanding is the council first have to chase the person who has withheld a material fact which is normally the tenant.
What do do think Adrian and would you have a suggested reply back to them.

Answer

2 Comments

  1. guildy

    You are quite safe to sign the disclaimer. It has no effect because the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 (in particular reg. 101) overrules and determines who must pay back overpaid housing benefit.

    There has been a case that decided disclaimers have no effect (which I can’t remember the name of but could find it if needed).

    It is correct in a sense that if they were allowed to recover, they can deduct from other tenants that you might get paid for. However, regulation 101 says that it can only be recovered from the person who failed to disclose a material fact or caused the overpayment – not necessarily the person it was paid to.

    See here for full details

  2. 1476

    Fantastic, thank you Adrian.

    Another example of a first class service from the Guild

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