Advice urgently required - Regarding a refund for bedroom tax

For information and discussion about benefits
Hi, im new to the forum, allthough well vetted in communicating via many others.

I thought this would be a good place to seek advice regarding a refund issue i have been delbt by the housing assosiation,
I intend to speak with citizens advice also, but before doing so i thought it a logical idea to seek advice from online as many others are experienced having gone through the same situations.

Here is the story.

I moved into a flat in 2014. at the time my mother had just passed away and i was going through some serious mentel changes and eventually brokje down completely and required medical attention along with spychiatric help, i eventually went onto the sick and recieved ESA & PIP also came along a carer whome cared for me through the worst of the situation...

Throughout my tenenacy i was paying bedroom tax, unbeknown to myself i was actually exempt in criteria but i never made any investigations ect as everything was in a bit of a different world for me and i was not motivated enough to even concidering such a simple thing...

Eventually, i ffell into a arreas of around 400 through not paying the bedroom tax, on many occasions over 2 years. i eventually faced loosing the flat, so i went to seek help as to what oi should so. I was then told that i should not of been paying bedroom tax as i had a carer, not to mention the law had recebntly changed as of april 1st 2017 allowing me a second bedroom for carer privlages... To my relief the council awarded my complete exemption from 2014 upto 2017... So im thinking everythings great again, il get a bit of back payment and il cover the rent arreas and secure my very needed flat...

I was awarded $1199.09p - unfortunatly though... I did not recieve this payment. The Council decided to send the backpayment to my landlords (derwent living) an housing association... Now thats all good i think, they will clear MY DEBT and refund me the credit.... NOT GOING TO HAPPEN according to DERWENT LIVING... no instead the arreas are 775 including a months rent. (which the council pays monthly to them) and they are keeping another months rent in advance in thier accounts for whatever reason.... So no backpayment for me, No refund , no nothing... Even though this money was supposed to be a REFUND FOR BEDROOM TAX, and would i give permission for this money to be sent DIRECTLY to my landlords, no. i would not i would much rather of recieved it myself and paid the arreas of around 400. leaving me 800 pouinds... But no. for unknown reasons, the council decide to send the refund OWED ME, not my landlords. to the landlords. I think for obvious reasons...But what is making it worse is that DERWENT LIVING are then doing everything they can to keep the money instead of being FAIR and JUSTIFIED taking into concideration that the money they are recieving is somebodys BEDROOM TAX REFUND.... i cannot understand why they have gone and done what they have done but it all seems like they just BEGRUDGE handinbg over money to people on benefits....I just boil at the fact that DERWENT LIVING are being so unconciderate , it would of been fair to of cleared the arreas and sent me the rest back to me, But no GREEDY HOUSING ASSOCIATION says no...

So now i have 2 OPTIONS, either goto citizen advice and seek more help and mediation and maybe take derwent living to court for the unneccesery . or to just leave the situation and be happy to be recieving a flat rent free. With no washing machine, no hot water due to another bill, and no fridge... THE ITEMS I WAS HOPING TO REPLACE WITH THE REFUND...

Anyway, if anybody has any legal information as to where i stand and as to why derwent living are using my refund for rent in advance. and why did the council send the money to the landlords and not myself... I would be most greatfull, for me to argue my case i need advice and enough to stand in court if it comes to it...

In my mind this has all been done with my loss of refund in mind as they council just couldnt bare to see me recieve the refund and took a course of active that would deny me of the smae refund that many other people have been awarded to themselfs and not to landlords ect...

Please reply if you have any advice..

Thank you.
The first question is. How old are you, because that is important to the eligibility criteria.

Have cab given you any advice yet?
Ring the Carers UK helpline. As your rent was paid directly by the council to the landlord, they may not have had any option but to send the backpayment to them. However, the landlords should send you full details of what they have done with your money. If you write to them, heading the letter "Subjct Access Request" asking for a statement of all payments in and out since the problem started, they CANNOT refuse your request, under the Data Protection Act.
I would check what you signed up for on the tenancy agreement- have you agreed to pay a month in advance? Have you already left a deposit or advance payment with them? If they are sitting on your credit and you make part payment to Landlord yourself topped up by Benefit then perhaps you can withold your own payment until you have used up the credit they are holding.
If all your rent has been paid by Benefit then I wouldn't expect the Council to issue a refund to you directly.
Might be worth scanning Freecycle for washing machines and frisdges or have a look to see if you could apply for a grant from anyone. Can anyone remember the name of the link with the lists of grant providers?
Not sure if council still do Crisis Loans -maybe called something else these days for emergencies.
Definitely look on Freecycle for electrical goods, you can also put a Wanted advert of Freecycle, it's a really good scheme.
Henrietta wrote:Can anyone remember the name of the link with the lists of grant providers?
Not sure if council still do Crisis Loans -maybe called something else these days for emergencies.