Reply To: Decision that may cover multiple HB regs


The Council also seeks to rely in the alternative on regulation 8 which
deals with liability to pay rent. In R(H) 3/03 (CH/1618/2002), the then
Commissioner advises at paragraph 9 that:

“The problems that arose in this case would have been avoided if the
local authority had based its decision in the alternative on regulation 8
and regulation 9. The facts often raise issues under both regulations. I
have seen decisions from some local authorities that are made on
alternative bases. That is an acceptable form of decision and ensures
that all the relevant issues are raised by an appeal. The local authority
in this case may wish to consider that approach in the future”.

This was Judge Jacobs. You start at your strongest point and if a Tribunal rejects your position, you move on “in the alternative” to the next. This can apply in all sorts of issues. You may refuse on grounds of capital. But the Judge decides some of the capital can be disregarded. So then you might move on to a different issue. Or it might be an overpayment. You might argue the OP is not an official error. A Judge may disagree. Then you might argue the OP is still recoverable because the claimant must have realised they were being overpaid etc.

This is more about presenting an appeal to a Tribunal rather than a specific regulation. What you want to avoid is the same case returning to a Tribunal when it could have been dealt with at the same hearing. Costly and time consuming and usually unfair to the claimant. On the other hand some exempt appeal cases can go on for may days!