a8 and eea national renting abroad

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    We are just wondering how other authorities are dealing with the increasing number of European Nationals, who are continuing to rent their previous properties in their own country, whilst claiming benefit in the UK for the address they currently live in.

    Several are saying no one lives in the property so we are unable to consider rental income and have no way of knowing if their declaration is correct (as we can’t check council tax records as we would with british claimants).

    As most don’t need to pass the HRT as they fulfil condtions as working etc (and so centre of interest and cutting ties with their own country do not need to be considered) it doesn’t seem right that they claim benefit, whilst continuing to rent abroad.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.



    Just like any other claimant, a European must satisfy the normal conditions of entitlement, including the requirement that the dwelling in Great Britain they are claiming for is the one that they occupy as their home. Reg 7(2) says that you should take into account any other dwelling they use in Great Britain [b:20e30d0f08]or elsewhere [/b:20e30d0f08]when deciding which is the normal home.

    DWP used to say that the purpose of Reg 7(2) was to prevent duplicate claims being made in Great Britain and Northern Ireland: the NI HB Regs have a corresponding rule that says the DSD should take into account any other dwelling whether in NI or elsewhere – the policy intention being to prevent duplicate claims in Great Britain.

    But it seems to me that the principle extends beyind Northern Ireland – if the Reg says “elsewhere” it means exactly that.

    Therefore if your claimant maintains his/her normal base in another European country and commutes to work here, you could conclude that the dwelling in Great Britain is just temporary digs and not the normal home. Don’t ask me top specify a set of rules that would allow you to calculate precisely which is the normal home – it is more subjective than that. A question of fact and degree, as the Upper Tribunal is fiond of saying. But it is an option you might consider.


    [quote:b16f6c5f70]Several are saying no one lives in the property so we are unable to consider rental income and have no way of knowing if their declaration is correct [/quote:b16f6c5f70]
    You’re lucky they are actually declaring anything about their finances in the “home country”! In my experience, most EEA nationals do not declare any bank accounts, properties or financial interests in their country of origin.

    If they have declared a property overseas, but you are satisfied that they normally reside in the UK address, you should treat that property as a capital asset unless the usual disregards apply.

    EDIT: Sorry, thought you were talking about property owned overseas thay they were renting out. On second reading of your post you seem to be saying that they continue to rent their former home but leave it empty? If so this may require further investigation – do they continue to get the equivalent of HB for their former home? If not how are they paying the rent?


    Hi Michael

    We are now pro-active regarding this and request details of last address and any bank accounts held abroad with every new claim, as we were told by a Latvian National that most people have bank accounts and property they either rent or own in their own country that they probably do not declare, and so far this exercise has proved to be true.

    We also ask why they continue to rent and how they afford it but guess this scenario is where we have to believe them if they say they not renting it out, as does not seem to be any other way of proving otherwise.

    thanks for your help

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