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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I am a Pensioner living in a rented three bedroom house in

Resolved Question:

I am a Pensioner living in a rented three bedroom house in Harrow. Up until 2011 my Land Lord Was Birch Corporation, founded by a Mr ***** *****, but Managed in 2011 by his son Mr Jon Birch. At that time Birch Corporation went into Management under Multico Development and Management in Milton Keynes, with Mr Jon Birch as Managing Director, and with Mr ***** *****'s nephew Mr Jamie Birch as a Director. Mr Jamie Birch rote to me telling me to pay the rent to Multico, but telling me later by word of mouth the Mr ***** ***** was taking over the Land Lordship of this property.
I received no correspondence from Mr ***** ***** that he was taking on the property, and I received no banking details from him until March 2012. I immediately change my payments to his account, and informed Harrow Council to do the same, but they say that they never received my letter and continued paying Multico the Benefit element of the rent.
Mr ***** ***** wrote to me again in March 2013 informing me of this and
asking for the arrears of Benefit payments element to the sum of £2,153.61, plus the total of the rents paid to Multico between July 2011 and March 2012, ie 10 months at the then rate of £470.17 per month ie £4,701,70, making a total of £6855.31.
I then informed the Council of the mistake by 'To Be Signed for letter, and the Benefit has been going to Mr ***** ***** since March 2013.
I then consulted Harrow Citizens Advice Bureau who advised me that it was not my responsibility to re-pay the rents to March 2012 nor recover the Benefit element miss-paid to Multico by the Council.
I have recently been in contact with Mr ***** ***** who requires me to write to him with details of how I am going to pay 'his' arrears of £6,855.31.
Can you please let me know where I stand in this dispute, and am I responsible for paying part or the whole of these supposed arrears. W George Salveson
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Alex Watts : In short the council have been paying the wrong person, is that right?
Customer:

Yes, that is correct, I did inform them of the correct recipient but they said that they did not recieve my letter.

Alex Watts : Ok, let me give this some thought.
Alex Watts :

Well its good news.

Alex Watts :

You can not be held liable.

Alex Watts :

It is the Council who should be paying the correct Landlord.

Alex Watts :

You changed the payment upon instructions from your Landlord

Alex Watts :

If the council were not satisfied who was the proper owner and Landlord then they should have made enquirie

Alex Watts :

They did not

Alex Watts :

Therefore you only asked the Council to do what you were told

Alex Watts :

The Council have a responsibility to make sure they are paying the right people

Alex Watts :

You are not liable for the debt.

Alex Watts :

If they have paid the wrong person then the Council should chase the money and pursue it as a debt

Alex Watts :

After all they paid the rental benefit

Alex Watts :

It is the Councils responsibility

Alex Watts :

You should write to the Chief Officers office and complaint

Alex Watts :

That department will investigate the complaint under the Corporate Complaints Procedure

Alex Watts :

If you are not satisfied with the outcome then you can complain to the Local Government Ombudsman

Alex Watts :

They offer a free and independent service and can investigate your complaint

Alex Watts :

Their website is: www.lgo.org.uk

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

When I informed the Council f the correct Bank details I March 2013 I also asked them if they could recover the money from Multico, they said that as they (apparently) ad not received my earlier communication of March 2012, it was not their responsibility to recover the money.

Alex Watts :

Well it is.

Alex Watts :

You should write and make a formal complaint then go to the Ombudsman as I have outlined above

Customer:

Also, the Money paid to Multico both by myself and the council from July 2011 to March 2012 is also asked for by Mr ***** *****.

Alex Watts :

Indeed. As I said I do not think you are liable

Customer:

Thanks, ***** ***** I save this message?

Alex Watts :

Once you rate the format changes.

Alex Watts :

Then you can come back to it at any time or copy and paste it

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

No. You have been very useful,. Many Thanks *****

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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