Dad paying rent for claimant

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    We are reviewing some of our LHA cases where we have not heard from the claimant in years or no longer hold their tenancy agreement on file. We have been asking for a copy of their current tenancy agreement and bank statements/rent book etc. to show rent being paid.

    This particular claim is a single claimant with rent of £950 pm but only gets one-bed LHA (around £580 pm in our area). She is in receipt of ESA-IR + PIP enhanced. Originally had a partner living with her but they split a few years ago and he left the property.

    Her mum came back to me in response to our review request with a copy of the current tenancy agreement & letter from the landlord confirming that rent has been paid. The rent is now £1200pm. No bank statements provided showing rent being paid which is what we had also asked for.

    I queried this and she responded saying that claimant’s Dad has been paying the rent in full (seemingly since partner left a few years ago) so rent payments won’t show on claimant’s bank statements, hence she did not provide them. I have asked if claimant has therefore been transferring her HB payments to Dad and am awaiting a response to this, but reading between the lines I don’t think this has been the case.

    If claimant is receiving the HB but not actually using it to pay her rent, is this actually a problem? Although it ‘feels wrong’ to me she is liable for the rent and she is on passported ESA-IR so I don’t see how her HB entitlement can be questioned. I expect the £1200 pm rent being paid by Dad would just be considered a voluntary payment and disregarded even if ESA were aware of it.

    Starting to think I am just fretting over nothing and should stop any further queries. Would you agree?


    I seem to recall there is a piece of caselaw that says the HB claimant does not have to use the HB to actually pay their rent. I am currently WFH, so dont have access to my antiquated paper ‘digest’ of caselaw, so cant look for it. If she is liable to pay rent, and entitled to HB, and you are paying it, i wouldnt look into it much further. Put it this way – if Dad is actually paying the rent in full, at least you dont have to insider topping up her rent via DHP!


    that should have said ‘consider’, not ‘insider’. Sorry.

    Peter Barker

    She’s on ESA(ir) so not the LA’s direct problem, but, if she isn’t paying her HB over to her dad, the rent payments should be counted as notional income under ESA Reg 107(3)(c) but only to the extent that they are funding the HB eligible rent. The portion above the HB eligible rent would not count as income.

    If that notional income is enough to float her off ESA(ir), exactly the same rules apply for HB purposes: see HB Reg 42(6)(b) and the definition of “rent” in Reg 46(13).


    I think Peter meant Reg 42(13).

    The Dad gets nothing in return for paying the claimants rent doesn’t he? So, is it not a voluntary payment, and therefore disregarded?

    What’s the difference between this, and someone’s parents paying for their weekly food shopping, where that person is, for example, single and on UC? I’m just trying to think of this in practical terms really – where is the ‘value’ in taking any of the money into account. This sort of thing must go on a lot, under the radar.

    John Boxall

    Try 8(2)

    (2) A person shall be treated as liable to make a payment in respect of a dwelling for the whole of the period in, or in respect of, which the payment is to be made notwithstanding that the liability is discharged in whole or in part either before or during that period ……….

    They are liable to pay the rent, the fact that Dad has paid it is neither here or there.

    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and—and in short you are for ever floored.

    Wilkins Micawber, Ch12 David Copperfield


    thanks for the responses all

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