There is actually no such thing as a contrived tenancy. It is a convenient shorthand used by LA’s, but that is not the statutory language.

Mr Commissioner Jacobs has on many occasions criticised LA’s for using non statutory language when making decisions because it can lead to confussion.

The statutory language is “created to take advantage of the housiing benefit scheme…” “Take advantage” in this context means simply to abuse the scheme or exploit the scheme.

Findlay cites several cases , including Baragrove where the isue was considered by the courts. I have still not seen the full text of Baragrove, but it was clear that in that case, the company were using the provisions of the old Reg 11 in order to charge extortionate rents. I am not sure this is necessarily so in the present case. It is inevitable that social housing providers will depend on housing benefit to pay off loans.

There is also the social policy issue much supported by the government of encouraging people into work. If such work is low paid, then even though the HB taper is only 65% and not 100% as is the case with IS and JSA, then there will inveitably be a poverty trap where rents and other housing costs are high. Lower rents will serve to avoid that poverty trap. The project does not look like an abuse of housing benefit from that perspective if it is a way of financing decent housing in the area