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Tenant overpaying rent

I have been renting my property to this tenant for over 5 years. The rent is paid by the housing benefit as 2 payments per month, 1 for a male and another for his mother.

For over a year, the rent being received has exceeded the rent payable, the letting agent has just been taking their 10% cut and sending me 2 payments a month.

After asking for 6 months I have finally got a full statement of all payments received from HB, and I have been overpaid for over £1000.

I have lost count of the emails and phone calls I have made to the letting agent, trying to get this sorted out.

If Housing Benefit was not involved. it would be a simple case of refunding the letting agent( less their Fees ) and instructing them to repay the over rent.

But the letting agent does not care, and refuses to deal with this.

How do I move this forward, as I want to sell the property ( with tenants in place ) but the rent needs to be in order first.


  • MultiFuelBurner
    MultiFuelBurner Forumite Posts: 1,192
    1,000 Posts First Anniversary Photogenic Name Dropper
    Forget the 10% the agent has taken and.just give your tenants a cheque(s) for the overpayment
  • gazfocus
    gazfocus Forumite Posts: 2,294
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    My first thought is that it seems odd that you are receiving two housing benefit payments (one for the male and the other for the mother). I've not dealt with housing benefit since it came under Universal Credit so I could be wrong but I'd check this as back when housing benefit was separate, it would have been a joint claim for the household rather than 2 individual claims.

    Also, take a look at the Local Housing Allowance for the property you're renting to the tenants. Does the amount you're being paid in total equal the money that the council are paying the letting agent?

    Personally, if it were my property, the first thing I'd do is put the excess rent to one side just so you have it when you're asked to repay it. Then, I'd phone up the housing benefit people and speak to them rather than the letting agents. At the end of the day, the tenants contract is with you as their landlord and not with the letting agents, so if there's an issue, ultimately you are responsible.

  • theartfullodger
    theartfullodger Forumite Posts: 14,026
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    You have written to HB about this?  You are certain it's HB rather that UC/HE?

    Think whoever it's from they'll want it back soon: From YOU!
  • propertyrental
    propertyrental Forumite Posts: 1,657
    1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    and don't DWP pay 4 weekly rather than monthly? So the two payments probably cover a 4 week period leaving a few days of unpaid rent. Might this account for your belief there's an 'over payment'?

    But yes, sending a cheque to the tenants is one way to go, but if it transpires that DWP have overpaid, they will demand the overpayment back from you

    I too would ignore the letting agent and sort this out yourself, initially by a proper budget matching DWP payments against rent.
  • Ratkin007
    Ratkin007 Forumite Posts: 111
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Posts
    If it's housing benefit, I'd be inclined to email the agent and possibly copy in HB. or give HB a call and discuss. They may put the HB claim on hold.
    If HB has been overpaid, they would probably look to reclaim the payments from the letting agent (if they paid them direct) who would then look to reclaim from you. I wouldn't give the payments to the tenants. 

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