Housing Benefit reclaim by Council on my long term 73 year old tenantMake Text Bigger
I have a tenant who is 73 years old. She has been my tenant for over 21 years. When she moved in, she had two grandchildren living with her (cousins). The girl moved out at age 17 and went to live with a boyfriend – had a child – subsequently moved in with another boyfriend and had two more children. However she has always lived nearby her grandmother, and in 2010 she and her partner moved to one of my properties right opposite her grandmother.
The granddaughter’s relationship broke down last summer and she was moved by Social Services to a women’s refuge. She only lasted there for a short while and came back to this area and moved in with friends. In August, the children were taken into care, and she spent some time with friends and some time sleeping on her grandmother’s sofa. She has since moved out and is living with a girlfriend.
My elderly tenant receives some Housing Benefit towards her rent – this is paid directly to me – she pays me the rest in cash each week.
Now the Housing Benefit people have been to see my tenant. They have written to her and to me, claiming that the granddaughter has been living with her since 2013 and claiming overpayment of over £3,000.
From my records, I know where she was up until July last year – that was not with her grandmother.
My question is – does my tenant have to prove that her granddaughter was not living with her – or do the HB people have to prove that she was. And what level of proof would they accept? A statement from the tenant and/or her granddaughter? A statement or letter from me? A letter from Social Services? (If they would provide one.) This is all new ground for me.
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