Housing Benefit - Advice Please

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A
Amatuer Landlord
61 Posts
3 Thanks
One of my flats was bought, in Sep 05, with an existing married couple as tenants. They signed a new 6 month AST with me when I purchased the property and have been the 'perfect' tenant and always paid the rent on time.

I have received a 'Landlord's Statement' form from Revenue Services requesting details regarding the property, tenant, rent etc.

I am not aware of any changes in my tenants personal details but they have now applied for Housing Benefit.

Once I have completed the Landlords Statement I have to sign a declaration that states that I have to declare, amongst other things, any change in my tenants circumstances (including "starting work"). It also states "that I will repay ANY amount of Housing Benefit I receive to which the tenant is not entitled"!

This scares the life out of me! How am I to know that my tenant is not making a fraudulent claim and how am I responsible for re-paying any benefit paid to me if my tenant makes a claim that is paid, but should not have been?

Any advice would be greatly received.

I have kept his monthly rental 50 a month below 'market rate' as I manage the property myself so have no agents commission to pay - one thought I have now is to put his rent up 50 ASAP to market value as some part of his rent may be paid by benefits.

Another thought is to evict ASAP and find a new tenant, which would not be a problem in my area.

Or am I overeacting - they have been good tenants and may have fallen into difficulties, I am not sure.

Any thoughts anyone?

regards

Steve

09/12/2006 00:00

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