Housing Benefit overpayments

It is considered an 'overpayment' of Housing Benefit when you either get paid Housing Benefit than you are not entitled to, or get paid more than you are entitled to. In such instances we will inform you in writing. The letter will explain:

  • how much the overpayment is
  • what period it covers
  • why the overpayment occurred

You can view the letters and decision notifications on your MyHarrow Account.

How we recover overpayments

We will recover the overpayment using one of the following methods:

  • deductions from your ongoing Housing Benefit entitlement
  • deductions from other benefits such as Universal Credit, Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance
  • payments to us directly - if you are no longer entitled to Housing Benefit and you don't receive any other benefits, we will send you an invoice. You will need to pay the overpaid amount back to us directly.

If the deductions from your ongoing Housing Benefit entitlement are causing you hardship you can ask us to review the amount we are deducting. You may be asked to provide proof of how the overpayment is causing you hardship.

To request a review please email housingbenefit.overpayments@harrow.gov.uk.

Landlords and overpaid Housing Benefit

If your landlord receives your Housing Benefit payments directly, we will inform them when your Housing Benefit has been overpaid. We will also let them know if we have decided to recover the overpayment from your ongoing Housing Benefit entitlement. Your landlord will not be able to appeal against our decision to recover the payment from your ongoing Housing Benefit entitlement.

If there is a difference between the amount of Housing Benefit you receive and your rent, you will be responsible for paying the difference.

What to do if you disagree with your  entitlement

If you disagree with the amount of Housing Benefit you are entitled to you can submit a dispute. Further information can be found on the Housing Benefit disputes and appeals page.

Council Tax Support overpayments

You can read information about Council Tax Support overpayments on the Council Tax Support overpayments page.

How to repay your Housing Benefit overpayment

Please use one of the following methods to repay your Housing Benefit overpayment. You will need to quote your 11 digit invoice number when making the payment.

  • Online
  • Telephone: 020 8424 1220
  • Standing order - using the account details below

Standing Order account details

Account name: London Borough of Harrow - Housing Benefit Overpayment Account
Account Number: 53653475
Sort Code: 60-10-10
Your 11 digit invoice number

What to do if you can't afford to repay the overpayment

If you cannot afford to repay the overpayment, please email the overpayment team at housingbenefit.overpayments@harrow.gov.uk

Income and Expenses Form

If you have been asked to complete an income and expenditure form you can access the online form.

Please note: to complete this form you will need to provide information about your income, such as your earnings and any benefits that you receive.
You will also need to provide details of your outgoings, such as household bills and living expenses.

Late and missed payments

If you pay late or miss payments we may decide to recover the overpayment using one of the following methods:

  • an attachment of earnings - this means your employer will deduct a percentage of your wages to repay the overpayment
  • debt recovery agents - we can refer the debt to an Enforcement Agent to collect the amount. You will then need to pay the Enforcement Agents directly.

If you do not repay the overpayment we can make a claim in the County Court which will result in a County Court Judgement (CCJ). This could affect your ability to obtain credit for up to 6 years. Additional fees will also be applied to the debt that you owe. If you own a property then a further application could be made to place a charge on the property called a Charging Order. In some circumstances we can make an application for bankruptcy.