Benefit on Two Homes

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    Hi, I have a Claimant who left his former property because he complained that he was being Racially Harrassed. He is currently staying in the new property until the outcome of his appeal is heard. Can Benefit on Two Homes be awarded in this instance based on him being absent due to fear of violence in the home?

    He has an intention to return and is liable for paying rent on both properties. I believe that he is eligible as the regs do state that actual violence need not have occurred and that the feared violence could relate to anybody, ie neighbours and not necessarily family members etc.


    Thanks πŸ˜‰


    Sounds correct to me!


    Thanks Spence.

    Just that the wording surrounding it is quite specific and it usually covers Domestic Violence. Not had anybody claiming Racial Harrassment before.


    I would agree with you but I would add that you should check regularly that the claimant still intends to return to the former home: certainly after 26 weeks.

    I would say that the fear of violence must be reasonably held: if you feel it appropriate you could attempt to obtain written evidence such as police statements/ or local knowledge etc to confirm the details given by the claimant.


    Carol Meredith

    I can confirm that I have dealt with similar cases where we have paid on two homes where the absence has been due to racial harrassment, in one particular case there had been arson attacks on the normal home. If the fear is real and you have something to back up what the person is saying, I would say that you definately can pay.


    Thanks guys, this has been the sort of thing I’ve been saying to the Housing Department and I believe they can substantiate his claim.

    Thanks again for your help.

    Have a nice evening.

    Darren W

    Does not the violence or fear of have to be in the dwelling? Reg 7 (6) states

    [quote:a8f9982e1b]Where a person is liable to make payments in respect of two (but not more than two) dwellings, he shall be treated as occupying both dwellings as his home onlyβ€”
    (a) for a period not exceeding 52 weeks in the case where he has left and remains absent from the former dwelling occupied as his home through [b:a8f9982e1b]fear of violence in that dwelling[/b:a8f9982e1b] or by a former member of his family andβ€”
    (i) it is reasonable that housing benefit should be paid in respect of both his former dwelling and his present dwelling occupied as the home; and
    (ii) he intends to return to occupy the former dwelling as his home; or

    It appears in this case that the fear of violence is outside the dwelling, so would not be eligible for benefit on two homes.


    To be fair to Minxa, I don’t think there is enough information in her posts to conclude that the violence may not be in the dwelling – if the claimant feared, for example, that someone was going to stick a petrol bomb through his letterbox, that would be fair enough.

    Darren’s point is valid, though. Not that I’ve ever really seen the need for such a clear distinction.

    Steve H

    This is getting very interesting – and confusing (to me anyway).

    Are you saying that the fear of/actual violence has to literally be IN the home?

    If an occupant of a property in a terrace who has a real fear/liklihood of physical attack from a neighbour ‘flees’, they would only be successful under this regulation if the perceived violence were likely to happen in the home rather than perhaps on the street outside?


    That’s about it, henste, which is why I think the reg as it is written is a little unfair.

    “In the home” means within the purlieu of the home. So if you have a nice big garden, you could have a fear that your neighbour was going to chuck a brick at you while you were sunbathing on the patio, in which case the reg would allow payment.

    But if your fear is that your neighbour is going to brick you the moment you step through your garden gate onto the public highway, you would not meet the requirements of the reg. Daft.


    πŸ’‘ Maybe the regs intention was to exclude claims from tenants who live in bad/ deprived areas. As that would increase the no of claimants for who this reg would be applicable?

    But surely if the threat was real it would be unfair not to award.


    I have often wondered whether it is arguable that only the fear, and not the violence of which you are fearful, need be in the home – i.e. I cannot carry on living here because the moment I leave the front door I know that Biffa Bacon will be waiting for me. Never been tested as far as I know. It would mean reading the words “fear of violence” as a single entity, qualified by the rider “in that dwelling” – instead of splitting it earlier into “fear” of “violence in that dwelling”. I think it’s at least possible that such an interpretation could stand up.


    My interpretation of being in fear of violence in the dwelling is:

    – the claimant has a realisitc fear that a person (or persons) is likely to commit a violent act against them; [i:221fcf64d3]and[/i:221fcf64d3]

    – that person (or persons) knows where the claimant lives,

    therefore, it is reasonable that the claimant fears the violence could take place within the dwelling.

    Any thoughts?


    I have applied the principle that Sam sets out, very concisely if I may add, as that is my understanding of the intention.

    Needless to say it’s not been challenged!

    Do I know what I'm doing? The jury's out on that........................

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