Have landlords ‘stolen’ £27m from the bedroom tax tenant?? by Joe Halewood

Have landlords ‘stolen’ £27m from the bedroom tax tenant??

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Have social landlords ‘stolen’ £27.65 million from their bedroom tax tenants?
5 months ago in March 2014 I take a bedroom tax appeal case for a tenant.  The case wins as two of the purported bedrooms were too small and the council (Wirral MBC) pays the bedroom tax back to the tenants landlord (R).  This was the case I reported on here in which the council’s presenting officer told the landlord they had a nerve to call the property a 3 bed property.
Wirral council also paid some DHP to the tenants landlord in 2013/14 and despite admitting in writing that the council has no legal basis to claw back these DHP payments it sends an invoice to the landlord for them to pay the DHP back to the council.
The landlord should refuse to pay this request for a number of reasons.  Firstly, this is not an overpayment.  Secondly, the councils has no right to claim this money back.  Thirdly, the landlord would be paying the tenants money to the council without any authorisation from the tenant to do so.
If the landlord R pays the councils invoice the tenants rent account will be debited with this amount and the tenant who is rightfully expecting the credit on her account to be paid to her will have no cheque forthcoming from the landlord – the landlord who will have paid the tenants money to the council and without the tenants consent and paid it back to the councils despite the council not having any lawful entitlement to this money back.
Or in simple terms the council is a sneaky bar steward and the landlord is an incompetent bar steward and the tenant is just the poor bar steward being shafted.
If the landlord has indeed paid the DHP monies back the council then they must also credit the tenants account with that money too as they have no right to pay the tenants money to the council.
Also if Wirral MBC has received DHP monies back from 2013/14 financial year then it must pay this back to central government as it is money not spent within 2013/14 financial year – which of course begs the question why did Wirral MBC seek to recover this money in the first place!!  That also means all the ‘moral’ arguments that a tenant should not benefit from the pre 1996 loophole (ie cock-up) and that DHPs could then go further to other needy cases is fundamentally flawed too.


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