How we recover the money from you
Recovering the money from your housing benefit entitlement
If you still receive housing benefit we can recover the overpayment in instalments from your ongoing benefit. There are legal limits as to how much we can take each week. The recovery rate will be shown on your letter, but if this causes hardship you can contact us to ask for the amount to be reduced. Please note we may need details of your debts and weekly outgoings to help us decide.
Sending you an invoice
If you are no longer entitled to any housing benefit after the change we will send you an invoice which should be paid within 14 days.
If you can't pay all of the invoice at once, we can arrange an instalment plan with you. It is important that you contact us at the earliest opportunity to discuss an instalment plan that you can reasonably maintain.
If we don't hear from you we will seek to recover the debt using the following options:
- Apply to the Department for Work and Pensions to take money out of your other state benefits such as Income Support, Job Seeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit.
- Instruct your employer to deduct the overpayment from your wages by issuing a Direct Earnings Attachment notice.
- Apply for a County Court Judgement (CCJ) and ask the Court to enforce it which will affect your credit rating. month we will register the debt with the county court and ask them to enforce it. This is the same as having a court order against you so it will affect your credit rating.
- If you have moved out of the area but continue to receive housing benefit from another council, we can ask that council to deduct the overpayment from any ongoing housing benefit entitlement.
Recovering the overpayment from your landlord
If we have paid your landlord the housing benefit direct, we may decide to recover the overpayment from them, either by sending an invoice or making deductions from their future payments. We will only do this if you have left the property or your landlord was aware of a change in your circumstances and didn't tell us.
Overpayments of council tax support
With council tax support we will add the overpayment to your council tax account and send you a new bill. If you cannot afford the new instalments you should contact the officer on the bill to discuss a revised repayment plan. Failure to pay the bill may result in court action.