Capital assest – some help please

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  • #38635
    craigworc
    Participant

    Hello,

    We have a case that we’d like to pay but I don’t see how we can.

    The claimant is a joint owner with his estranged wife of a property that she still lives in. We have valued his share at £90,000. He has asked us to revise our decison as his wife is unwilling to sell the porperty as she is incapacitated (unfortnuately she is under 60 so we can’t go down that route).

    I thought about disregarding it under the ‘disputed assest’ rule but the actual ownership isn’t in dispute – what is, is the fact to sell it. As his wife is refusing to sell he cannot realise the capital value of his share but I’m not sure whether that’s enough to disrgard it under the ‘disputed assest’ rule.

    He is now at the end of his savings and redundancy payments, so he has claimed HB. Any help is much appreciated.

    Craig

    #109058
    Anonymous
    Guest

    If he can’t sell it then, effectively, it’s value is zero. Does this help?

    #109059
    Kevin D
    Participant

    It cannot be disregarded in itself. Although his estranged wife is unwilling to sell, that doesn’t necessarily prevent the clmt from realising his share. If there is no legal bar to the sale of his share, the valuation must be along the lines of what a willing buyer is prepared to pay for that share.

    Unless there is a written agreement to the contrary (must be in writing for land/property), it’s highly unlikely that the former partner could legally prevent the clmt from selling his share.

    #109060
    craigworc
    Participant

    Kevin,

    He’s been in touch with several estate agents, all of whom have said they wouldn’t touch it if both parties hadn’t agreed to the sale … there’s no legal bar but …..

    Martin,

    thats the route i’d like to go down but is that streching the interpretation of the regs too far?

    #109061
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Personally, I don’t think you can assume a zero value. However you need to make sure the valuation has taken into account the other owner’s unwillingness to sell, the likely attitude of the Courts, the availability of potential buyers, etc. See this thread for more opinions:

    Value of Half vs half the value

    #109064
    Kay_Tade
    Participant

    I think you will have to convince him to start legal proceedings so he can get his 1/2 share of the property, there are various options, sell it off[Or get them to make an offer]to one of those companies that try to keep an owner in the property, I forget what they are called now 😐 , I am sure they would be happy to buy OR get the ex-partner to buy his half, put it on the market himself and see what
    happens. At least that would give him 26 weeks or more depending on reasonableness and all that….

    In any event you would have to value this property, at some point if above is of no use, and then be able to justify the value you have arrived at. I think he needs to make an assertive move in order for you to pay anything. Good luck. 🙂

    #109066
    craigworc
    Participant

    Thanks for the comments, our senior officers have some decisons to make :~

    #109094
    John Boxall
    Participant

    The bottom line is that it is capital, until he – or his wife starts divorce proceedings

    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and—and in short you are for ever floored.

    Wilkins Micawber, Ch12 David Copperfield

    #109112
    chris harvey
    Participant

    I don’t think it is in the remit of a benefits officer to suggest a claimant takes legal proceedings or takes a particular course of action. We have to apply the benefit rules to the asset. It appears to be a countable asset and should be valued along the half a share lines using the VOA valuation that should take account of the fact you are valuing what someone may pay for a half share of a house.

    #109115
    Kay_Tade
    Participant

    [quote=chris harvey]I don’t think it is in the remit of a benefits officer to suggest a claimant takes legal proceedings or takes a particular course of action.[/quote] Well if you make a decision on a claim and an explanation as to the reasoning of your decision is requested, in my view, you would have to explain all to him OR to a judge at a tribunal on appeal. So you might as well do it now.

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