commercial or not

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    ned some help please
    situation is a person moved into a property with the Landlord who was a friend – after problems with his now ex- wife –
    The landlord worked abroad alot so let him stay there rent free as a sort of security for the house.
    The Landlord has now changed jobs two years later and because of this has now decided to charge the tenant rent due to a reduction in his(landlords) income . The landlord does not go abroad anymore –
    They have produced a tenancy agreement
    The claim was turned down under reg 9 2006 as been non commercial as he had resided there rent free for two years prior.
    He has stated he will evict the tenant if he doesnt receive HB

    I am in two minds to actually allow it – as it was through a change of circumstances in the landlords income which is now making him charge a rent –

    does anyone have any comments on this


    Apart from the commercial issue. I would question whether there is a true liability to pay rent. Having lived there for 2 years rent free does he have rights of occupation other than those given by the tenancy agreement?


    I regularly see these and in the example you have given, I would probably pay the claim. It seems fair enough to me i.e. the owner wanting someone they could trust living at the property whilst abroad, having a CinC which meant they needed some income to cover the costs of the property? This is totally different to the family member giving away a property or charging for what was the family home.

    No, I dont think people should be penalised for being a good friend. I suspect this case is all above board.

    Andy Thurman

    Tend to agree with Peter – unless the landlord’s c in c co-incides with your claimant becoming otherwise eligible for HB (e.g. did he lose his job too).


    The relevant case law is R vSutton LBC HBRB ex p Keegan (1992) 27 HLR 92 at 99-100 QBD

    Keegan was just such a case where the claimant was allowed to live rent free and it then bacame uneconomic for the landlord to let the situation continue that way.

    The judge overturned the Review Boards decison not to allow HB

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