Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Business & FinanceTaxesUnited Kingdom · 2 months ago

The council are asking me to repay a housing benefit overpayment even though I was not at the property ?

Advice please.

The council mistakenly overpaid the organisation (safe house) I was living in even after I had left the accommodation. By the time the safe house staff informed the council of my move the council had already made a payment to the housing organisation. The staff within this safe house were acting as liaisors between I (the tenant) and the council, and those staff had informed the council of my move a little too late. 

After landing a job I noticed my wage was being deducted as they was taking the overpayment from my wages, even though the organisation received that payment.

Currently, I am unemployed and claiming benefits, but I've received a request to pay the remaining amount. 

I recieved an email from the council saying this:

"As the overpayment was due to a change in your income, your landlord could not have reasonably have been expected to have been aware of this, therefore the overpaid amount is recoverable from yourself." 

My "landlord" is an organisation that provides supporting living and emergency accommodation for those who need it, they helped me find a job and were fully aware of my income and that I had moved out. 

What are my rights? 

Do I have to pay even though I was not in the property at the time of the overpayment? 

Do I have to pay even though I was not in receipt of the overpayment? 

How can this be resolved? 

Update:

To Anonymous, it's possible my question wasn't clear, but just to clarify I moved out for example on January 15th, I informed DWP of income changes, but the council paid the organisation after January 15th, cos DWP contacted council a little to late, and the organisation kept the money and then contacted the council too late. So DWP, council and Safe house organisation were delayed, leaving me with a charge. I'll go to Citizens advice soon. Thanks everyone. 

4 Answers

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  • ?
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    yes you do.  you didn't notify the organization you got a new job and report your new income. it's not the organization or landlord job to update your income or employer information to social service. you can ask the organization to refund social service of payments received for you when u weren't residing in unit tho

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    You're not understanding.

    It doesn't matter whether you were living in the property or not.   They're saying that once you got a job you were not eligible for the housing benefit and therefore they want their money back.

    "they helped me find a job and were fully aware of my income"   So what?   The safehouse isn't the one in charge of determining your eligibility for housing benefit.   No one told the council about your change in income and if they had, you would not have received the benefit.   And now they want their money back.

  • 2 months ago

    Talk to a lawyer. 

  • Tavy
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    On Monday phone Citizens Advice they can intervene for you. Have all your details at hand.

    U.K.

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