appeal – capital issue

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    I would like some advise on this case please.
    DM has decided that the claimant (Mr P) is not entitled to benefit on the basis that he has capital in excess of 16K.
    I will give you a brief outline of the case.
    Mr P owns one-sixth of a share of a property in France with his family. The declared value of the property in 2006 was £120,000.00.
    Mr P’s mother and father owned another property in France until 1999 when the father died. This property was inherited by the mother and 3 children. Apparently, the division between surviving spouse and children is french law. With the agreement of all parties, the original property was sold and another was bought with the proceeds.
    Mr P’s mother now lives in this property (property in question) and she states that she has half ownership and security of tenure until her death. The surviving children own one sixth each and will receive no renumeration until her death when the property will be theirs and they can do with the property what they wish.
    She resides in the property 5 months of the year, the rest of the year she resides in the UK.
    The claimant has appealed against the decision on the grounds that he is unable to sell his share of the property due to his mothers life tenure, therefore will not benefit financially until after her death. Any sale would only then commence with the agreement of all the parties who own the property.
    I am looking at revising the previous decision made and have looked at current regs and in particular the property could be disregarded as the occupant is over 60 years of age. However, I believe the question of whether the property is her main residence is an issue, and whether or not the property in UK is considered her main residence for these purposes.
    Any comments/advise would be greatly appreciated.

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