Appeal – advice please

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    I have a case that went to tribunal on contrived tenancy and we did not win case. Claimant lived with grandparents and in tribunal stated that the chalet bungalow had been converted and she had her own self contained accommodation, backed up by social worker. I now have information that shows this was untrue. Is there anything I can do now, or is too late? Your help would be appreciated. Thanks.


    You can do something that walks like revision and quacks like revision but is known for soem reason as supersession. [This may be a grammatical thing – one can only revise ones own actions and not those of another legal entity, maybe, I don’t know. But the mechanism has all the characteristics of revision.] Here’s what you do.

    Look at D&A Reg 7(2)(d): the Council may make a decision that supersedes a decision of a Tribunal or even a Commissioner if the Tribunal’s decision was made in ignorance of a material fact or based on a mistake as to a material fact. The superseding decision takes effect under Reg 8(7) from the same date that the Tribunal’s decision took effect – as I say, it isn’t any different from revision in practice. This is an anti-fraud mechanism designed for precisely the situation that you are faced with: if the claimant had sufficient bottle to lie to the Tribunal but you rumble them later, you can change the decision without further reference to the Tribunal.

    Of course, your new superseding decision carries its own appeal rights so you mighht end up back at the Tribunal … but this time the factual evidence will be different and the Tribunal might not reach the same conclusion.


    I would add that you need to have very strong evidence to do this. It must be something that was not before the Tribunal. It would be best if a different decision maker who had had no previous involvement considered the evidence. Definitely someone the Ombudsman could investigate imo. I think a JR or injunction (?)is also possible here – if the proper process has been followed and the LA willinfully or unreasonably ignores or changes the decision, I think the Court would intervene. otherwise the LA could go round and round for years or until eviction.

    The murky waters are clouded even further by the actions of thev social worker. Did they knowingly assist someone to obtain HB on the basis they knew to be false? Then they have committed a criminal offence. Yes I know its tough but if you look at it from an independent point of view …


    Have you got the Tribunal’s full statement of reasons? The “self contained accomodation” issue may not have been that significant.

    A grandparent is not a close relative, so of itself the mere fact that the person resides with a grandparent is not grounds to refuse HB.

    If you were refusing HB on grounds of what is loosely called contrivance, ie in statutory language the tenancy is designed to “take advantage” (ie to abuse) HB, or because you think the arrangement with granny is not a commercial arangement, the burden was and is upon you to prove your case.

    If you now want to supersede the Tribunl’s decision, the burden is still on you to show the grounds for your supersession. You will have to prove that the mere fact that the acommodation is not self contained would have been enough to make the Tribunal at least consider coming to a different decision from the one it did.

    You have a fairly high hurdle to jump

    Kevin D

    Taking the info at face value, I’d say that lying to a Tribunal goes some considerable distance to jumping Stainsby’s hurdle… least to the extent of being able to supersede the decision. But, if (er, when….) it ends up back at another Tribunal, it’s likely the whole thing will be looked at very very closely – both the clmt’s case AND the LA’s evidence.

    If you believe that the evidence is sufficient to supersede the Tribunal decision, there may be mileage in looking at actual liability too as well as Reg 9 issues (is non-commercial a possiblity?).


    Thank you for your replies. We have decided to request the statement of reasons, because as you say, the self contained issue may not have influenced the decision of the chairman. Once we receive this statement, we will decide on whether to take the matter further.


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