Getting money back from Housing association

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Hoping I am in the right forum here!

I have been on housing benefit for some time. For many years I have contributed to it so paid part of it. A while ago my local council made a mistake with the calculations with my benefits changes which messed up the HB and CT.

I ended up not having to pay anymore CT for about 6 months because they had taken too much from me. I had however been also paying what they said I had to pay of the HB to my housing association. I worked out that I had paid £177 to my housing association which I shouldn't have been doing. So basically my rent account is in credit for that amount.

I contacted my HA and asked them to refund me this money. They asked me to get evidence first from the council that I wasn't in debt with them or owed them any money. They confirmed in writing that everything was fine. I passed this on to the HA. I then received an email from their income officer to say that they wouldn't be refunding me my money as it was their policy- "for people on full housing benefit states that at least 2 weeks rent be left on the rent account and looking at your account you have less than 2 weeks credit on the account".

Now I have been a tenant with this HA for around 7 years. I have never ever been asked to do this. This all seems very convenient as they really don't like giving money out. I have been on full HB before, years ago, early on in my tenancy too. I honestly don't see the difference with being on full HB or part HB when it comes to having two weeks rent in your account. I would have thought being on part HB it would be more important to have something in credit incase you couldn't make your own payments.

What I would like to know is, can I get this money? I paid this because I was told by the council I had to. Could it be considered that the HA are keeping it fraudulently as it was paid in error?

Any help gratefully received. Thank you.
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Comments

  • Shelldean
    Shelldean Posts: 2,397 Forumite
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    Just don't pay your share of the rent until this credit is used up?

    I over pay my rent slightly all year so my Dec payment is reduced, to help with the finances.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 4,176 Forumite
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    I've had exactly the same, for a lot more money and no didnt get the money back. I ended up doing exactly what the poster above said, reduced what I paid until it was no longer in so much credit.
  • lycam_2
    lycam_2 Posts: 114 Forumite
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    I would ask them to provide you with a copy of their policy which states this. If it really is their policy then they should be able to provide this to you.
  • nannytone_2
    nannytone_2 Posts: 12,951 Forumite
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    have a look at your tenancy agreement.
    mine states that i have to be 4 weeks in credit with my rent at all times.
    throughout the month my rent account varies from being £300 in credit to £500 in credit depending on if housing benefit is due to be credited
  • Podge52
    Podge52 Posts: 1,913 Forumite
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    _shel wrote: »
    I've had exactly the same, for a lot more money and no didnt get the money back. I ended up doing exactly what the poster above said, reduced what I paid until it was no longer in so much credit.

    Or if you do not need to pay a top up of your rent get the housing benefit paid directly to yourself so you can control how much the ha gets paid and when.
  • tomtontom
    tomtontom Posts: 7,929 Forumite
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    This policy is becoming widespread due to the introduction of Universal Credit - it is lawful and you're not going to get your money refunded. You should not under any circumstances stop paying your rent as agreed - this can result in enforcement action and additional costs.
  • Housing_Benefit_Officer
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    Look at your tenancy agreement - it normally mentions being 4 weeks a month or 2 weeks in credit with your rent.
    These are my own views and you should seek advice from your local Benefits Department or CAB.
  • missbiggles1
    missbiggles1 Posts: 17,481 Forumite
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    Even if it should be refunded (which I rather doubt) surely it should be refunded to the council rather than to you if it's HB?
  • nannytone_2
    nannytone_2 Posts: 12,951 Forumite
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    Even if it should be refunded (which I rather doubt) surely it should be refunded to the council rather than to you if it's HB?

    if you read the OP properly, you would see that housing benefit had been calculated incorrectly meaning that the OP was paying more of a top up than they should.
    so the overpayment would be the OP's money and not the HB
  • Scott1965
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    yes, I now no longer pay towards my rent. I get full HB. The money in credit is mine, what I paid because the council got it wrong. There is nothing in my tenancy agreement/handbook about needing to have two weeks always in credit or any amount in fact other than fully paid.
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