Joint tenants – council property

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    Colin Adams

    Good Afternoon,

    We have been advised that a mother and son are joint tenants at a Local Authority property and have been since 2000.

    I would therefore say that if each were claiming HB, each would have a 50% claim.

    Where do we stand if one of the tenants moves out and then returns? The rent for the property would still have to be paid so can the mother receive HB at 100% if the son moves out? She occupies the property, the son doesn’t so she pays the rent in full. Is that allowed if he continues to be named as a joint tenant?

    It may be unlikely, but there could be a possibly that he paid 50% towards the rent when not residing at the property; I have my doubts but is this something we need to confirm?

    One thing we need to amend is the inclusion of the son on the mother’s claim; a joint tenant but he is registered as a ND which cannot possibly be correct.

    Your thought as always would be appreciated.

    Thank you,


    John Boxall

    Basically whoops……….

    She has 50% liability when he’s there & potentially 100% when he isn’t.

    You could make her liable for a different share if you think its appropriate

    Then there is the Council Tax to sort out

    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


    if I remember from an old case I was involved in, the portion paid by each joint tenant is at the discretion of the assessment. So 50% 50% is reasonable but you could decide on a different amount. For instance if one of the joint tenants had no recourse to public funds.

    So in my case, there were two Council joint tenants. Family members. One day, the youngest just left and was not heard of again. We apportioned the rent 100% to nil and paid HB on that basis. As the tenancy had not been given up we reverted to the 50% each after a period of time. That meant there were arrears of rent.

    The matter ended at the UT. The Judge decided we could have been more generous in the circumstances and extended the 100%..for a year more I think. But he made the point that it could not go on for ever.

    After another 15 months the remaining joint tenant gave up the two bed flat and moved to a one bed. For which he was paid compensation by the Council. Who were desperate for such flats.

    Colin Adams

    Thank you John and Peter.

    Colin Adams


    Further information regarding this scenario; I have now been advise that when the son resided at the property, he paid the rent and CTAX in full.

    As joint tenants, I therefore think that for this period the mother should have 50% claims for both HB and CTR; he may have paid the rent and CTAX in full but technically there is a joint liability for the rent and CTAX to be paid.

    Again, your thoughts / opinions would be gratefully appreciated.



    it doesnt really matter who paid what – joint tenants are jointly and severally liable – you cant assess mums on 0% just because the other person paid it – you’d only know that retrospectively anyway –
    JT cannot be non deps – and do not stop a severe disability premium in the same way non deps do

    Colin Adams

    Thanks P Birks.

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