Legal Owner of Property?

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    Hi can anyone kindly help?

    We have received a Pensioner HB application for a property that he previously owned and had to sell in 2009 due to bankruptcy, along with several other properties, which were purchased by the same company called Europa. He has recently moved back into this address who are now charging rent via an Agent.

    However, Land Registry still shows that our claimant is named as the proprietor and there is a Bankruptcy Notice entered on 28th October 2009. There is also another entry on 22nd February 2018 showing that there is a mortgage registered for Topaz Finance Limited.

    Europa have stated that four of the properties he purchased from our claimant were habitable and had equity in them so he had no problem taking out a mortgage, but because there was negative equity in this property (that our claimant is trying to claim HB for) he said the Receivers offered him Receivers Interest to buy future equity on the basis that the bankrupt person is still named?

    Can anyone please advise whether we are correct in refusing to pay HB as he is the legal owner?



    Tricky! If the property is owned freehold then under reg 2 he will excluded under definition of an owner and the rest of the detail will be irrelevant to the decision.

    Not so easy if leasehold and that will be shown on the Land Registry. I would also look up Europa (and the claimant) on Companies House.

    It might be that the bankruptcy was not actually enforced as the Court accepted that there was plenty of money around. Unravelling the finances behind this is not going to be easy. But you cannot pay HB just because the matter is complex.

    I suspect that there is a lot of money involved here. This sounds risky stuff and only a specialist would take this on and only for substantial fees.

    Topaz are here and seem to be that type of smaller specialist that I suspected.

    I am guessing that there is a highly complex deal here possibly involving some millions in total.

    I cannot see any grounds to pay HB myself. If the case did go to Tribunal, you can ask for the Judge to have the assistance of a financial expert.


    Many thanks Peter. The Land Registry confirms the property is freehold and based upon what you have said we are correct in refusing to pay HB.

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