Housing Benefit - Advice Please
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?
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