Housing Benefit Fraud
If you’ve been accused of housing benefit fraud, it’s important to remain calm and consider your next steps carefully.
What is housing benefit fraud?
Housing benefit fraud is the act of claiming housing benefit or council tax support when you don’t really need to. Examples of housing benefit fraud include:
- Not declaring all of your income, including sums of money earned from employment or a private pension.
- Not declaring all of your savings.
- Not declaring all of the properties or land that you own.
- Not declaring everyone that lives in your property.
- Not declaring a change in circumstances.
- Not declaring a change of address.
- Pretending to be a tenant when you’re actually a homeowner.
- Claiming that your rent is higher than it actually is.
There is a wide range of ways that you could be committing housing benefit fraud, and this list is not exhaustive. If you are claiming more housing benefit than you should be, you are committing housing benefit fraud.
Housing Benefit Fraud: Frequently Asked Questions
Do housing benefits give you warnings if they suspect fraud?
Yes, if the authorities suspect that housing benefit fraud has been committed, they may issue a warning or letter of caution to the individual concerned. The purpose of the warning is to inform the individual that their behaviour is being monitored and that they may be subject to further investigation if there is evidence of fraudulent activity. In some cases, the authorities may choose to conduct a formal investigation or take legal action against the individual.
How long does it take to investigate Housing Benefit fraud?
DWP (The Department For Work and Pensions) unfortunately does not give any timescales when investigating housing benefit fraud. The investigation timeframe is determined by case managers’ waiting lists, as well as the severity of the case. This means it can take a couple of weeks to a couple of years.
Will I have to pay the money back if I have claimed housing benefits when not entitled?
Yes, you will likely receive notification of the overpayment amount in the form of a letter. A payment plan can be set up with debt management to ensure the repayment amounts are manageable in line with your personal circumstances.
What should you do if you’ve been accused of housing benefit fraud?
If you’ve been accused of housing benefit fraud, it’s essential that you seek legal advice, even if the accusations are false.
Here at DPP Law, we offer professional legal advice from our dedicated team of housing benefit fraud solicitors. Contact us for a confidential chat about how we can help you.