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The Housing Benefit (General) (Amendment No. 7) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997

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Amendment of regulation 95 of the principal Regulations

4.  In regulation 95 of the principal Regulations (withholding of benefit)—

(a)after paragraph (1) there shall be inserted the following paragraphs—

(1A) The Executive may withhold payment of a rent allowance which it would otherwise make to a landlord in accordance with regulation 93(1) or 94(1), where the Executive has evidence which raises a reasonable doubt as to whether the landlord is a fit and proper person to be the recipient of such payments.

(1B) The Executive may withhold rent allowance payable to a claimant where the question whether payment be made to the landlord under regulation 93 or regulation 94 is for determination by the Executive.;

(b)after paragraph (6) there shall be inserted the following paragraphs—

(6A) In a case to which paragraph (1A) applies, the Executive shall within 14 days of the doubt arising, or such longer period as may be appropriate in the circumstances of the case, satisfy itself as to whether the landlord is a fit and proper person to be the recipient of payments of rent allowance, and—

(a)if it is so satisfied and that regulation 93 or, as the case may be, regulation 94, also continues to be satisfied, pay any payments withheld to which the claimant is entitled to the landlord under regulation 93 or 94 as appropriate, or

(b)if it is so satisfied but the requirements of regulation 93 or, as the case may be regulation 94, are no longer satisfied, or if it is not so satisfied—

(i)pay that amount to the claimant, or

(ii)where these Regulations enable it to do so, make such other arrangements for the payment of that amount as appear appropriate in the circumstances of the case.

(6B) In a case to which paragraph (1B) applies, the Executive shall determine the question arising under regulation 93 or regulation 94 within 14 days of its determination to withhold payment of rent allowance from the claimant or such longer period as may be appropriate in the circumstances of the case, and—

(a)where it determines that payments be made to the landlord in accordance with regulation 93 or, as the case may be, regulation 94, pay those payments withheld to the landlord, or

(b)where it determines that payments shall not be made to the landlord—

(i)pay those payments withheld to the claimant, or

(ii)where these Regulations enable it to do so, make such other arrangements for the payment of the amount withheld as appear appropriate in the circumstances of the case..

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