London Borough of Croydon

A housing benefit overpayment happens when we have paid you (or someone else on your behalf) benefit which you are not entitled to.

How overpayments happen

  • you may have provided the council with incorrect information
  • you may not have told us about a change in your circumstances
  • we may not have assessed your claim correctly
  • we may have been late acting on your information

Always read your notification letters to check that the information we have used to calculate your housing benefit is correct.

If you notice any errors you must let us know within 1 month of the date on your letter. 

Change in circumstances

You must tell us about any changes in your circumstances as soon as you are aware of them. 

Repaying the overpayment

Each overpayment is looked at individually and in most cases we will seek to recover any overpayment. Depending on the circumstances, we may try to recover the overpayment from either you or your landlord.


  • if the overpayment was caused by a change such as you starting work, we would ask you to repay the overpayment
  • if we paid your housing benefit to your landlord after you moved and your landlord knew you were moving, we usually recover any overpayment from them

Paying back an overpayment

When we ask you to pay back an overpayment, we will:

  • send you an invoice and ask you to repay the amount
  • take weekly deductions from your housing benefit payments (this is at least £11.10 per week) 

Where we are making deductions from your housing benefit entitlement and you feel this is causing you extreme hardship, you can ask us to consider lowering the deduction being taken.

How to pay

If you cannot afford to pay the invoice in 1 payment

We are aware that sometimes money may be tight. If you are struggling to pay the full amount, call 020 8667 8246 or email We will try to make an arrangement that you can afford.

Appeals against the overpayment

If you wish to appeal, email or write to the Housing Benefit Section at the address below.

What will happen if you do not pay

We have a duty to recover all outstanding money owed and we may take any of the following actions:

  • application for county court judgement or other legal action 
  • application of a direct earnings attachment if you are in work
  • referral to an external debt collection agency
  • deductions from your ongoing benefit entitlement 
  • referral to the Department of Works and Pensions for direct deductions from any benefits you receive

Recovery of an overpayment will not prejudice any criminal proceedings that may be taken by the council in respect of fraudulent overpayments.

Did you know?

You can now check your benefits online, 24 hours a day,7 days a week, giving you access to your payments, entitlement, how your claim has been calculated and lots more. Register for a customer account. See more online council services with our My Account.


Housing benefit and council tax support

020 8726 7000
Address Line:

Housing benefit section

London Borough of Croydon

Bernard Weatherill House

8 Mint Walk

Croydon, CR0 1EA

Office Hours: