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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 71051
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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My parents have been claiming housing benefit on a property

Customer Question

My parents have been claiming housing benefit on a property I bought from then,I have just found out they did not declare we were related so they made a misrepresentation on the claim form..the property is managed by a letting agent who receives the payments direct from the council.the rent I charge is below market levels
If they have committed fraud,will I be prosecuted as well and who will pay the money back
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
Did they declare that you were the landlord?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
You are not likely to be prosecuted
They could be however I'm afraid. Come what may, they could have rented from you legitimately but not in this circumstances. They should have declared your relationship and probably the council would have asked for a stat dec from you and them covering the arrangement. Also, it never helps when you are charging below the market rate.
There aren't really any magic wands but I would advise them to declare urgently. It isn't going to go away and at least if they declare they are less likely to be prosecuted than if they are found out.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Will they have to pay the overpayment or is it me because the agents recieved the payments
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
No, they should have to pay.
You are not liable.
They changed the rules requiring landlords to repay some time ago.