Bedroom Tax – reporting other people’s changes in circumstances

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  • #45071
    julianm
    Participant

    Just to pick everyone's brain, has anyone given any thought to dealing with Joint Tenants under the bedroom tax.  we have enough problems getting people to tell us about their own changes so how are we going to encourage them to tell us about the household changes of their JT who may or may not be on HB ?
    If the household as a whole is not underoccupying, but then the JT (not on HB) loses say a Dep, they will then be subject to the bedroom tax.

    They should tell us as they might 'reasonably be expected to know the change will affect the amount of their HB – which a tribunal will surely agree with ?

    Also, what about evidence ? anyone asking for a letter from the JT to confirm or will you just be treating it like one of the phantom non-deps and taking their word for it ?

    #127249
    nickkeogh
    Participant

    Not sure how you can encourage them to notify you anymore than you would encourage them to notify you about any other change that may affect their benefit. Some will and some won’t as has always been the case.

    As for the evidence it would again be the same as everything else insofar as you can request evidence but at some point you have to make a decision one way or another as to whether someone lives there or not based on what you have. They may be joint tenants and the joint tenants circumstances may well affect the claimants HB but the HB is still no business of the joint tenant so I don’t see why you would need confirmation from the JT. You can ask by all means if you want but why would a joint tenants say-so be any more believable than a claimants? It’s still not proof that the dep/non-dep is resident. Hundreds proclaimed themselves to be Spartacus but only one of them was telling the truth.

    #127255
    walmslm
    Participant

    Do you think you’ll have a lot of joint tenants in social housing in your authority? I know we don’t seem to get that many, perhaps an annual vist to the property to do a head count?

    #127267
    nickkeogh
    Participant

    Again though, what if someone can’t be in the property at the time of the visit though? Unless you have reason or suspicion to believe that someone is lying then it still doesn’t actually prove anything.

    I think what I’m trying to get at is that instead of the default position of thinking that someone is not telling the truth then maybe we should accept that they are being honest unless there is something that suggests otherwise. In my experience there is normally something in most cases that shows up something that doesn’t add up. I just find it a little tiresome hearing the same old “I don’t believe a word any of them say” mantra that exists in a lot of authorities.

    #127270
    walmslm
    Participant

    Even if they are not there, you would think there would be some evidence that they where, a bed, clothes etc

    #127275
    nickkeogh
    Participant

    SSSC Fraud

    I take it all back. I think fingerprints and DNA will probably be needed.

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