Contrived tenancy??

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    I am dealing with a case that I am thinking of revising on the grounds of contrivance, but as we make contrivance decisions so rarely I want to be sure I’m doing the right thing!

    Claimant claimed HB back in 2005 as a single person & declared that there was another person living in the propery but they had separate tenancy agreements. Following an investigation, she has admitted that the other tenant was actually her partner for the whole time she lived at the property. The declared Landlord & registered owner of the property was her partner’s sister & claimant states that they bullied her into claiming HB & she was aware that she shouldn’t be. Also, the partner previously owned the property, but transferred ownership to his sister in 2002 because he was being made bankrupt & wanted to avoid losing the property. Ownership was transferred back to him in 2010.

    Obviously from the time the property was transferred back to into the partner’s name in 2010, the claimant isn’t eligible for HB because her partner owns the property. But, what about the earlier period?? I am thinking of going down the contrivance route as it seems that the tenancy was clearly created to take advantage of the HB scheme based on the claimant’s statement in her IUC.

    Have also considered the fact that the partner owned the property within 5 years of claimant claiming, but this will not cover the whole period & also I’m not sure where they would stand with relinquising ownership in order to stay in the property (technically I suppose he did as he had to transfer ownership to his sister, but it doesn’t seem quite right in this situation…

    Any thoughts would be appreciated…

    Clive Hayward

    I’d have a good, hard long look at liability first. Was rent ever paid? Did either party ever have any intention of enforcing the “agreement? If you can crack that you don’t need to worry about Reg 9 at all.


    Also it might be worth looking at the value of the property and the equity held. He may have deprived himself of some capital there when he transfered it to his sister.

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