Overpayment of Housing Benefit by Maladministration
I receive Housing Benefit (LHA) payments directly in respect of a tenant who has previously run up significant arrears.
The last payment I received for this tenancy was on 15/01/13. On or after 15/02/13 I noticed that the payment due upon that date had not been made. Upon raising queries with the tenant and local Council I was advised that the tenant's claim had been summarily cancelled - without prior notice to me - wef 24/12/12. The payment received on 15/01/13 therefore represented an overpayment for which I was not technically responsible.
The tenant's former partner has stayed on in the property and has now been successful in establishing a follow-on Housing Benefit claim, back-dated to 24/12/12. The back-dated sum was paid to me on 11/03/13 - albeit nearly two months after the last received payment. The resulting interruption in my cash flow over this period generated a great deal of work for me and some costs.
The concerned Council has now represented to me that the overpayment is recoverable from me, despite the previous arrears run up by the tenant before payments were switched to me as landlord.
Am I in fact liable for some or all of this overpayment?
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