close relative?

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    We have a case where claimant is renting a room from his ex-partner’s mother who resides in the property. He has stated that he moved in there on the 15.08.2011 – but has provided letters earlier then this date sent to this address – he states he was sofa surfing before then and used this as a c/o address. He was not married to his partner and has no children with her and he has stated that she does not reside at the property and he does not know where she is and her mother doesnt either.

    My first question is does it count as a close relative if he was not married to the partner and they are now seperated?
    Another problem is we have visited the property and the ex-partner answered the door! but they did not wish to continue with the visit and asked us to return when the mother-in-law was back (these were the claimant’s words).
    The ex-partner is also claiming jsa from this property.

    We clearly want to refuse the claim but wondered what people think – should we go down the road of the close relative based on the information we have seems to point to that or should we go down non-commercial.

    Any advice would be appreciated.



    Sounds like its a complete sham, so no HB under reg 8.

    But you might want to keep parts of reg 9 as alternative decisions in case of appeal.



    “close relative” means a parent, parent-in-law, son, son-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law, step-parent, step-son, step-daughter, brother, sister, or if any of the preceding persons is one member of a couple, the other member of that couple;

    So LL is not a close relative since the claimant was never married to his partner.


    Thanks for this – we have looked at reg 8 – and just wondered if you could explain further the part you are referring to.



    Regs 8 and 9 should be read in conjunction with s130(1) & 137(2)i & j of the SSCBA 1992:

    s130(1): “A person is entitled to housing benefit if he is liable to make payments in respect of a dwelling in Great Britain which he occupies as his home…”

    s137(2): “Regulations may make provision for he purposes of this Part of this Act…
    (i)for treating any person who is liable to make payments in respect of a dwelling as if he were not so liable;
    (j ) for treating any person who is not liable to make payments in respect of a dwelling as if he were so liable;”

    Reg 8 deals with persons who are treated as liable to make payments, whereas reg 9 prescribes persons who are treated as if they were not liable.

    If you rely solely on reg 9, you are accepting that there is a genuine liability in the first place.

    If you suspect the tenancy is a sham you could say that they are not entitled to HB because they are not genuinely liable to pay rent and they cannot be treated as liable under reg 8. Then in the alternative, if a tribunal accepts that they are liable, you could rely on reg 9.

    See the notes under Reg 8 in your CPAG book for more.

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