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leanne-jones
leanne-jones, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 183
Experience:  Barrister
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I need help I was a council property tenant from 1992 and in

Customer Question

I need help I was a council property tenant from 1992 and in 1998 I bought a property close by in the same london borough of Greenwich then,I told my housing officer that I boought a house nearby and he told me that I was entitled to have one house while living as a council tenant,then over the years I lived and moved between both addresses and finally I gave the council the one bedroom flat back and then got a shocker when they sent me a letter saying that I owe them 121,000 pounds,but I was told that its okay to have both,if the law had changed since then I do not know,I cant afford this and that means I will loose my house and other things,please advise of any housing legislation supporting the advice given to me by the then housing officer. Thanks
Vincent
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  leanne-jones replied 4 years ago.

leanne-jones :

Hello - my name is Leanne and it will be my pleasure to assist you today.

leanne-jones :

What was the bill for?

JACUSTOMER-h6ovfsxk- :

They said the bill was for weekly cost of emergency accommodation as I was living in a council property while owning a property.But They said it was okay then and i was paying council tax for both properties openly to the same council over the years and they did not raise this issue until I handed the property over to them voluntarily

leanne-jones :

Did they ever tell you that you would be invoiced? What period does the invoice cover?

JACUSTOMER-h6ovfsxk- :

No they never told me that I would be invoiced and it covers the period of 6th october 2003 to 29th april 2013. They said they believed I may have rented the property out which I never did.Everything was transparent

leanne-jones :

But there is no finding that you ever rent it, nor any Court possession order?

leanne-jones :

And what is the £121k for - rent?

JACUSTOMER-h6ovfsxk- :

No finding ever that I rented it or any court possesion order as I handed the flat back voluntarily.They said that they have evidence that different people have lived there which is right from my sister in law to about 3 different relatives but they were not paying me any rent

leanne-jones :

And I dont understand what the cost is for - is it not rent?

JACUSTOMER-h6ovfsxk- :

They said the 121k is for them subsidizing me living in a council flat while owning a property . But I did ask them and they said it was okay.I paid the rent and council tax in full before handing it over to them. They said that I must have made money from perhaps renting the flat which was not true

leanne-jones :

Ok. I assume the charge is therefore breach of tenancy because you have your own property. They appear to be charging you as they, I assume, claim you have made a gain.

leanne-jones :

However I doubt there is a provision in their contract that allows them to make such a charge.

leanne-jones :

Further even if you were liable for the costs then they would only be able to claim costs going back 6 years, so 2007. Anything beyond that would potentially be statue barred under the Limitation Act

leanne-jones :

Therefore you should reject the charge and make a formal complaint to the Chief Executive. Their office will investigate the matter and report back to you.

leanne-jones :

But my view is that the decision is not reasonable, they never notified you that there may be or would be a charge.

leanne-jones :

And in any event charges over 6 years would be out of time

leanne-jones :

So take that step and if you are not satisfied with the response then you should complaint to the Ombudsman who are independent body. They can be found at: www.lgo.org.uk

leanne-jones :

Does that answer your question?

JACUSTOMER-h6ovfsxk- :

Please also advise me on the legislation that governs the circumstances of living in a council accommodation and owning a property as at 2001 please?

leanne-jones :

There is no legislation it is a matter of contract law.

leanne-jones :

Although there has been talk of making it a criminal offence

JACUSTOMER-h6ovfsxk- :

okay thanks

leanne-jones :

Welcome. Can I assist further today?

JACUSTOMER-h6ovfsxk- :

Thats fine thank you

leanne-jones :

Great. Please remember to give me a great rating - thanks. And good luck with this

Expert:  leanne-jones replied 4 years ago.
I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. Did my answer help?


Leanne