Contrived Tenancy

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    Martin Giles

    Have been landed with a case where a disabled couple are apparently selling their property to a private landlord who will then charge them rent for which they wish to claim Housing Benefit. They have provided information of ever increasing debt as whilst the actual mortgage is not in arrears they have apparnetly taken other loans to help them pay it. The current mortgage is £76000 Barclays loan £40000 other loan £2000 and increaseing, thus they appear to satisfy Reg 9(h). However the story goes that they have a private buyer willing to pay £125000 for the property (current maket value approx £165000) and rent it back to them at a rent of £150 a week. The reduced purchase price being reflective of the fact they have to remain living there. Deprivation ?

    Additional factors are that both of the couple are disabled and the property has had a number of adaptations to help them. This is another reason why they wish to sell to someone who will let them remain living in the property.

    Which is the correct way to refuse ( I mean consider) the claim.


    I’m not conviced that deprivation is an issue here.

    There does not seem to be much doubt that they have to sell-up. If they were to move they would have to either:

    Find a property with suitable adaptations or,
    Find a property and a landlord willing to make the adaptations (and probably pay more rent as a result).
    Find a property and a landlord who is prepared to allow them to make the adaptations themselves.

    Given the figures you have quoted it seems an arrangement has been made to clear the debts and retain a place to live.

    Their property needs sound like they are fairly specific and I suspect that there are few suitable properties available. If this is the case then I really cannot see how the tenancy is taking advantage of the scheme either.


    I agree with Pete.

    I can see why you are uneasy about a situation in which they have let their property go for a knock-down price, and now to add insult to injury the lucky buyer is charging them rent as well.

    But I think this just reflects the fact that they are in a very weak bargaining position – they need a buyer and they need to stay put, and this means they must accept both a huge hit on what the value would have been with vacant possession and an ongoing rent liability. In short, they no choice other than to get screwed.


    Have a look at CH/2552/2004, available [url=]here[/url]

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