Change of circumstances

It is your responsibility to inform the Council of changes in your circumstances.

If you are in receipt of Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support and you have a change in your circumstances you must tell us immediately. The easiest way to do this is using our online form.

You can also e-mail us at  or write to us at Hart District Council, Benefits Service, PO Box 227, Erith DA8 9GX

The evidence you will need to provide is shown in our Standards of Evidence document

Types of changes

The types of changes you need to tell us about include:


  • Entitlement to Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance or Guarantee Pension Credit begins or ends
  • Entitlement to any other benefit begins or ends (e.g. Disability Living Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance)
  • Earned Income - changes of employer, rate of pay or hours worked
  • Increases or decreases in the value of your, or your partner's, savings and investments


  • Somebody moves in or out
  • You start or stop letting-out part of your home to someone who pays rent
  • You, your partner or your child starts or finishes full-time education
  • You or somebody in your household goes into hospital
  • You or your partner are away from home and do not plan to return within 13 weeks
  • Somebody in your household dies


  • You move home
  • Your rent (or share of it) increases or decreases
  • You receive a new tenancy agreement or the conditions of your tenancy change

Unless you have an appointee, do not rely on someone else to tell us; it is the responsibility of the person receiving benefit to tell us of all changes. This list is not exhaustive, if in doubt please contact us

Overpaid Housing Benefit

Overpaid benefit occurs when more Housing Benefit is paid than someone is entitled to.

The rules concerning overpayments are contained in the Housing Benefit Regulations. The Council has a duty to implement these regulations, and to recover overpayments from you and/or your landlords. In the case of a fraudulent overpayment, we may also decide to take criminal proceedings.

All overpayments are recoverable unless it was caused by official error, and whether or not you could reasonably have expected to know you were being overpaid.

Overpayments will normally be recovered from you. In certain circumstances, it is also possible to recover an overpayment from your landlord. Who we recover from depends on the reason for the overpayment and who Housing Benefit was being paid to.

If you are currently receiving Housing Benefit, the overpayment will be recovered by reducing the amount we pay you or your landlord.

If you are no longer receiving Housing Benefit, an invoice for the amount of the overpayment will be sent to you or, where applicable, your landlord. You can pay your invoice online, there are other payment options available, which are shown on the back of the invoice. If you cannot pay the full amount, you can contact the Benefits Section on 01252 622122 to discuss making an arrangement.

There is a right of appeal, for further information on reviews and the appeals process, see our help and advice webpage and look for 'appeals'