13 week protection – could afford

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  • #22509
    twill
    Participant

    We have a very complex and emotive case at the moment. A family with a son with ‘severe difficulties’ were assisted to move into rented accommodation by our housing department. Dad (at the time the tenancy was entered into) was in a good job and with the addition of £400 monthly funding from Social Services, they were able to afford the rent. Dad has since lost his job and has applied for HB – the rent has been restricted by the RO due to size and price. My query is – would this case fall within the 13 week transitional protection? The reg merely refers to the fact that the tenant was ‘able to meet the financial committments’. Do we read this in the strictest context, in which case the 13 weeks would not apply, or read it losely, in which case the claimant could afford the rent and would qualify for the protection. The claimant has not received HB in the 52 weeks prior.

    As an aside, we will also be considering a DHP but it would help our financial situation if we could consider the transitional protection for a period.

    #8373
    petedavies
    Participant

    The requirement is an ability to meet the financial commitment, there is no requirement that it be from his own resources so,

    either (a) The financial commitment was the rent less SS contribution or,
    (b) The full rent (but with the SS assistance added to his income)

    either way your claimant could meet it

    I think it is streching interpretation to the elastic limit but not exceeding it . I would pay it

    #8374
    seanosul
    Participant

    As long as the claimant was able to meet the financial commitment without help from Housing Benefit, I would say that the protection applies.

    #8375
    Mark
    Participant

    I assume it’s the social services payment that’s worrying you. For me, it’s a clear case where the 13 week rule applies. It doesn’t matter how they could “meet the financial committments…when they were entered into”, just that they actually could. They can’t now because he lost his job. So 13(14) applies.

    #8376
    bubble
    Participant

    not sure if this will help but this is the reply we received from Adelphi when we contacted them with a similar situation:

    The wording in HB regulation 13(14) to be satisfied for the provision to apply is that “…a person to whom paragraph (16) applies was able to meet the financial commitments of the dwelling when they were entered into…”. It does not need to be the claimant who could afford the rent, it could be any of the others mentioned or a combination thereof. Therefore, if the rent was only affordable because someone outside the dwelling was helping then HB regulation 13(14) can not apply.

    #8377
    anthony
    Participant

    [quote:ab87c65c96=”bubble”]not sure if this will help but this is the reply we received from Adelphi when we contacted them with a similar situation:

    The wording in HB regulation 13(14) to be satisfied for the provision to apply is that “…a person to whom paragraph (16) applies was able to meet the financial commitments of the dwelling when they were entered into…”. It does not need to be the claimant who could afford the rent, it could be any of the others mentioned or a combination thereof. Therefore, if the rent was only affordable because someone outside the dwelling was helping then HB regulation 13(14) can not apply.[/quote:ab87c65c96]

    If this were the interpretation used, couldn’t it be argued that an applicant who had been relying on Tax Credits to pay the rent (in addition to their previous income), then the exemption would not apply?

    I would allow the exemption.

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