Beneficial Interest/tenancy issue

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    I’m hoping someone can help me with this query as I seem to have exhausted all possibilities. The scenario is as follows: A claimant sells her former marital home in 2005 and receives £50,000 approx. £17,000 of this is used to pay off debts, buy a car, go on holiday etc. The customer gives the remaining £33,000 to her mother who uses this as a deposit for a house. The customer’s mother takes out a mortgage to cover the rest of the cost of the house purchase. The customer moves into this house and has now made a claim for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit. The mother has told me verbally that should the property be sold she will reimburse her daughter.

    At present the customer is receiving Income Support so I am quite happy to award Council Tax Benefit and, while I will be informing the Jobcentre Plus of the situation, I am not concerned with any deprivation of capital issues while IS is being paid. I also intend the explore the issue of whether this is a commercial/contrived tenancy. However, before doing this I was hoping to establish whether she is excluded from HB for any other reasons.

    I have checked Land Registry records and the mother is listed as the sole legal owner of the property. I have also considered the beneficial interest that the customer has in the property as she paid the deposit. However, we would have to disregard the value of the home she is living in under HB regs Sch 6 (1). I was also wondering about whether there is actually a legally enforcible tenancy as could the mother reasonable evict our customer if she has this beneficial interest in the property?

    There is probably something blindingly obvious that I have missed so I’d really appreciate any ideas/musings that anyone has on this case.


    These cases are very much a matter of judgement. Have a look at this case as a starting point:

    It sounds like you think HB is being used to pay the mortgage for the benefit of the daughter. It might be but in reality you need some decent evidence to support your case. What is the arrangement between the parties? Who pays for the upkeep, the service charges?


    The rent is £450.00 per calendar month and a shorthold assured tenancy has been drawn up. The tenant pays all bills and utilities in addition to the rent. I’m not sure who pays for the buildings insurance.

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