Reply To: “Someone” Acting on behalf of non-profit LL

Peter Barker

This question has been definitively settled in a series of cases involving an organisation called Rivendell Lake. In supported living, the commissioned care service is being provided on behalf of the commissioning authority who pay for it. It benefits the landlord to have that service on site as the tenancy would not be viable without it, but that does not make it “on behalf of” the landlord. The care provider is answerable to the commissioning body.

What they will try to persuade you, and they might have a case, it depends on the evidence, is that the landlord itself has enough of a niche support role to satisfy the “more than minimal” test. They might have an agreement with the care provider for their staff to do a few extra tasks on the landlord’s behalf whilst they are on site – especially if the landlord is a small organisation without the capacity to have any on-site presence itself. The commissioned care contract might be carefully drafted to leave a niche for the landlord. These cases can go either way and if were to come to an appeal you would need a wheelbarrow for the evidence.

It’s a much lower risk in these cases if the landlord is a registered HA because normally the worst that can happen is the bedroom tax applies. If a non-registered HA misses out on exempt acc status they will be limited to LHA/LRR.