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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71057
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi there. My dad who is a pensioner used to live with me for

Customer Question

Hi there. My dad who is a pensioner used to live with me for around three months a year twice a year a total of around 6 months a year. I was on sick benefit. this was for approximately fifteen years, towards the end of him coming to live with me I realised I might have had to inform the council as I was on full housing benefit. The person at the council informed me I might have to pay ten pounds a weeks but they would send me the forms but they never did, I went back another time and asked the same question and was informed it would not effect my housing benefit at all but they would send me the forms but they never did. My dad has passed away now. The council has not mentioned any of this to me but as I always want to do the right thing would I be in trouble if I reported this again to them i.e would they just want the money I may owe them, which is fine or would they want to go to court and possibly I go to prison. As say I have not been contacted by them and my dad sis not live with me for the last two years of his life. Thank you.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

I presume they asked you to pay extra because you lost your reduction on council tax for single occupancy?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Oh yes, that is not my concern, I pay £11 a week for that. My problem is I always have to do the right thing so if I contact the council again about the times my father lived with me, although I did ask them on two occasion about my dad living with me what would the outcome be, if I was supposed to be paying some rent then I will owe the council money, which is fine, I have money to pay them, but would they take me to court. As I said I have not been contacted by the council about this, this is purely if I contact them.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Well, it is always a good idea to put this type of thing in writing, keep a copy and send it out recorded delivery. Picking up a phone is all very well but you have no prove of having notified. Thats not to say that you shouldn't notify by phone but also follow up in writing.

Once you have notified you are under no obligation to nag. As long as you do not continue to receive a benefit that would plainly not be allowed because of your change of circumstances - for instance continuing to work whilst receiving JSA - no fault can attach itself to you even if the council do make an error.

I think though, overall, I would notify in writing in these circumstances. Maybe they will decide that you do not have to pay but you are entitled to a response to that effect. They should not just ignore you.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

This happened a few years ago, my dad has not lived with me for a few years. Ok Thank you for your help.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No problem and all the best.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’.