Benefit on 2 homes (again)-Contrivance?

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  • #10231
    petedavies
    Participant

    Must admit I hadn’t thought of fit and proper either but would you not need some decisions to hang a decision on in the first place?

    As far as changing the decision is concerned – I can see an argument that a liability may become contrived but cannot see how it could be reversed.
    (KevinD..can you at least share that bit with us!).

    Assuming it to be the case that it is a one way street, I can see no way around the fact the the decision rests on whether the liability was created.

    #10232
    markp
    Participant

    Not exactly related but………..

    Many years ago I had an appeal against a rent restriction and / or overpayment. We had paid £80.00 p/w (if (failing) memory serves me well) on a rent of £90 – £100 rent p/w. However, in evidence, the appellant supplied a rent book showing reduced charges whilst he had been working and not in receipt of HB. When questioned at interview he said that as he was working the landlady, who I beleive was a relative, accepted that he would struggle financially without the aid the HB payments so reduced the rent to £60.00 p/w. He had then lost his job and claimed again, and the rent had increased to £80.00 p/w which is the benefit payment he’d had before starting work.

    I therefore made a determination (as it was then!) that the contractual rent was £60.00 p.w and always had been using the then Reg 7 clause of created to take advantage to apply only to the increase on the rent that occurred to relation to the benefit claim seeing that there was no way I would retrospectively prove the whole thing had been a sham (although I did suspect this). The decision was upheld by a review board and was not further challenged.

    Applying that principle to your scenario I would consider the the first four weeks of the tenancy were created to take advantage of the scheme in that the LL would receive the rent on two properties and that from the end of the notice period you have a genuine liability. Therefore Reg 9 (1) (l) refers for the period of the overlap only as it was created to take advantage of Reg 7 (6) (d). This, of course, assumes you can get the evidence to back it up.

    NB like the idea of not fit and proper though.

    #10233
    Ozzies Mate
    Participant

    Firstly I am not saying that this is correct procedure but it did have the desired effect.

    We had exactly the same situation with a couple of RSL’s who were advising their tenants that they could get HB on both & were doing exactly the same.

    Now this is where I will catch the flak but it was a decision taken at management level not by me the poor assessor. It was decided that we would refuse these requests based on the fact that the LL had total control over the end/start dates and therefore the overlap could have been made unavoidable however we were putting the inference more on the remaining liability as opposed to any contrivance of the new liability.

    Lo & behold we did not receive one appeal against this & do not seem to get very many HB 2 homes requests where the LL is the same now unless the delay in moving was of the tenant’s doing.

    …….Am just putting my riot helmet & shield up for the forthcoming onslaught……. :26:

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