Crack House Closure

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    Shirley Giles

    Can someone help me with a situation I have with a closure order case.

    The situation is that on 13/4/06 the Housing Department obtained a ‘closure order’ for a council tenancy and the tenant could not return to the property for 3 months pending a court case. The Housing Benefit was cancelled from 17/4/06 and a decision issued on 16/6/06 as it was considered that he would not return within 13 weeks. This was based on the fact that the intention to return was without any form of qualification, i.e. it is not enough for the persons intentions to be dependent on the outcome of an event.

    The customer did not appeal within the 1 month but a solicitor has now requested a late appeal on his behalf and the reasons are likely to be supported by the LA. This was received recently following a court case which has allowed the tenant to return to the property 5 months later as the judge found that there was not enough evidence to allow the closure.

    The main issue I have with this is that the solicitor is concerned that The LA is both the landlord and administrator of benefit and that the benefit regulations do not make any provision to prevent the abuse from an LA trying to remove unwanted tenants.

    Can anyone offer any advice please, thank you in anticipation. 😕

    Julian Hobson

    Is there any possibity that one of the reasons your housing dept took the action was because the property was not being occupied as the customers home, but was being used by others for drug taking ?

    If so I think the problem is solved. If you can show that the property was not being occupied as his home prior to the closure order then any period of absence follwing the closure order is irrelevant. Of course you would need to revise your decision.

    Even if you are stuck with the temp absence decision I don’t think the solicitor has any argument at all.

    Kevin D

    As a technical observation…

    Who has the appeal actually been made by? Bear in mind that an appeal MUST be signed by the clmt – a general authorisation is not enough.


    Shirley Giles

    Thanks for the replies!

    The claimant was actually found in the property when the closure order was made so I don’t think there is enough evidence to prove non residence. I will be taking to appeal tribunal, once I have the claimant’s signed request for an appeal that is!

    Thanks again.

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