Housing Benefit
Housing Benefit Overpayment

20 Thanks
148 Posts
1 year ago

I have a long term housing benefit tenant. I rarely visit the property as the payments have been constant and the tenant very rarely contacts me unless there is a problem with the boiler or similar issue that needs my attention.
Recently I had a lot of work done on the property - external cladding, new windows, new roof etc so I was visiting the property regularly whilst work was ongoing. I notticed that her 'ex' husband was there on more than a few occasions. It felt strange him being there as they have only a young son living with her and he is 17. Older children have left the household. The father of the remaining son seems to be there a lot, and I am wondering if he is actually living there. If so she would be breaking the terms as she is in receipt of housing benefit as being a single parent.
I do not know what to do as I read of stories where I as the landlord could be charged to repay a lot of back rent if the council invetstigate and she is subsequently found to be of fraudulent claims. The housing benefit has been paid direct to me for years - it was her choice to ask the payments to be paid to me. If I reported my concerns to the council would I be shooting myself in the foot ?
It seems very unfair that landlords can be seen as implicated as it is the tenant who makes the declarations on their family circumstances, not the landlord. She declares her status in her interactions with the council, I have no say or input in that, it is not my business.
This situation probably happens a lot so I wonder if any other LL's have had this experience and if so, how did they approach it ?

thanks in advance.

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