Reply To: Exempt Contrived


If you believe it was set up to try to get much higher levels of HB and service charges as exempt accommodation then you would be perfectly entitled to reject this arrangement and advise the tenants to claim UC.

In many ways, this is what is wrong with the entire exempt area. On the face of it, this sounds like the “goldmine” scheme a backbench MP was complaining about last year.

A landlord has a 6 bed house but wants more rent than that can usually get. So they det up a “vulnerable adults” house (do you need that provision in your area?). They do not really know what they are doing…probably read somewhere they can make a lot more money than a normal hmo. So you reject it and then they set up another company. Of course “not for profit” is easy enough to say if the profits are paid in a high salary to the owner etc.

So for a HMO you might get 6 times £70 per week if you could get a local licence. For a 6 bed vulnerable property you might get 6 times £450 a week including service charges. Or higher. Depending on local levels. Which is what Panorama on BBC were pointing to in their very recent “Housing benefit millionaires” program. Why rob a bank?

You cannot just rip up one tenancy agreement and replace it with another because HB reject it.

There would be a right of appeal and it really depends on what you think. Is this just an attempt to get the much higher levels of HB or a genuine attempt to provide assistance to people who need it?

If it went to Tribunal what would they make of it? I reckon they would take a lot of persuasion that this met the conditions to qualify for exempt. I suspect (only a guess) that they are really looking for the Council to teach them how to set up the business to get around the rules. So everything you point out is wrong they will change it and “have another go”.