Reply To: Beneficial interest


We assume that she and the former partner were a couple from at least the time of the son’s birth, which would be 4 and a half years, over two years of that spent cohabiting in the property in question. The former partner is aware that the claimant still lives at the property.

The former partner didn’t transfer ownership to the father, he ‘sold’ the outstanding mortgage to him for a mediocre payoff. (Former partner says he ‘despises’ his ex and was glad to get shot of her.) The former partner also says he has no interest in any title he may have to the property, he washed his hands of it in lieu of maintenance. There is no documentary evidence regarding the mortgage transfer, as daddy wouldn’t do anything so vulgar as to insist on something in writing. So the inference is that there was a gentleman’s agreement that the father would assume responsibility for the mortgage payments, but the mortgage was not actually put into his name. The father is now dead, so we can’t get his side of the story.

Both parties are agreed that the claimant did not put any money down for the deposit. We don’t know if she helped pay the mortgage while they were cohabiting or not.

There is a lot more to this case, which is pending a joint prosecution for total overpayments of around £100,000. The decision under appeal, however, seems to be based solely on Reg 12(2)(c) of the HBR 2006 (decision makers here don’t quote regs…or if they do, they quote the wrong ones). Having just read the commentary in Findlay on Reg 10(2)(c) of the HBGR 1987 (same wording as the new reg), it appears we don’t have to show that she has a beneficial interest anyway. This is by virtue of the Court of Appeal decision in [i:91f7a6c0f4]Burton v New Forest District Council 2004[/i:91f7a6c0f4], so unless that decision has been superceded it would appear we have her cornered…?

Apologies – the commentary is actually in relation to Reg 2 HBGR 1987, definition of an owner, no change to that in the new regs. And I’ve just noticed she has just turned 60, so if I modify the decision I guess I’ll have to use the HB (Persons who have…etc) Regs 2006…