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The Housing Benefit (General) Regulations 1987

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Withholding of benefit

95.  (1)  An authority shall withhold payment of a rent allowance where, but for the fact that it is in the overriding interest of the claimant not to make direct payment to his landlord, the authority would have made direct payments under Regulation 93(b) (circumstances in which payment is to be made to a landlord).

(2) In any other case an authority may withhold payment of a rent allowance where it is satisfied that the person entitled to that allowance is not paying regularly the rent to which that allowance relates.

(3) A payment withheld under paragraph (1) or (2) shall be retained by the authority until such time as it is satisfied that–

(a)the claimant has discharged his liability to his landlord; or

(b)the claimant will discharge his liability to his landlord if payment is made to him; or

(c)in a case to which paragraph (1) applies, it is no longer in the overriding interest of the claimant not to make payment to his landlord.

(4) Where it appears to an authority that a question has arisen in relation to a person’s entitlement to housing benefit or to payment of that benefit, it may withhold payment of the benefit in whole or in part pending the determination of that question on review under regulation 79.

(5) Where it appears to an authority that a question has arisen whether any amount paid to a person by way of, or in connection with a claim for housing benefit, is recoverable under section 29 of the Act or Part XIII (overpayments) of these Regulations, it may withhold any payment of arrears of benefit to that person, in whole or in part, pending the determination of that question.

(6) Upon determination of a question to which paragraph (4) or (5) refers, any benefit withheld under those paragraphs shall be paid except to the extent that there was no entitlement to that benefit or a recoverable overpayment remains unrecovered from the person from whom benefit was withheld.

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