Communal Charges

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  • #286172
    Caroline Buck
    Participant

    Hello

    We have a claimant living in exempt accommodation with 2:1 care 24/7. The property is a two bed property, one reserved exclusively for the carers. As part of his rent his landlord has specified costs for communal charges such as window cleaning, cleaning of communal areas. We have disallowed these charges on the basis it not being shared with any other resident. However, the landlord is disputing this decision on the grounds that the claimant is in effect sharing the property with his carers who are there solely to assist him with his needs and not to do cleaning.

    Any advice greatly appreciated.

    #286181
    pbirks
    Participant

    what does his tenancy say? does he have use of the whole house, or a room in the house?

    #286193
    Caroline Buck
    Participant

    He does have use of the whole house.

    #286209
    pbirks
    Participant

    I would have thought that if his tenancy is for the whole house, then there cant be any communal arrears, because the whole place is his. in much the same way as ig cleaning/heating of his own room was included in the rent it wouldnt be eligible, because its his area. not shared.

    if his tenancy is for the whole property, i don’t see how cleaning of any aprt of that that can be deemed to be eligible

    #286212
    Peter Barker
    Keymaster

    The definition of “communal areas” in para 8 of Schedule 1 refers to areas other than rooms of common access and, in sheltered accommodation only, rooms of common use.

    I think the key word here is “common” – to me it indicates areas that other households have a common right to use, and I think there is an intention to echo the housing law term “common parts”. Do the carers have a legal right to use the communal areas? Do they live in the home? If they are only present in the home while on duty, and they live elsewhere, they are guests of the claimant and they are not sharing areas in common with him.

    #286248
    Caroline Buck
    Participant

    Thank you all so much for taking the time to reply and for clarifying.

    #286249
    garethbannister
    Participant

    External window cleaning is eligible where ‘neither the claimant nor any member of his household is able to clean them himself’

    HB Regs SCH 1 PART 1 Para 1 (iv) (bb)

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