DHP to cover period prior to occupation

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    We have a customer who lived in rented accommodation and accepted tenancy of new property. The property she accepted the tenancy on seems to have been in a poor state and due to her disabilites, she went to stay at her parents for apx 7 weeks whilst they got the property in order for her. She does not meet the criteria for HB to be awarded prior to occupation at all and has requested help with the rent arrears she has that are prior to her occupying the home. Can a dhp be awarded towards the rent arrears? Full HB is in payment now and I am aware it has to be in payment for dhp to be awarded, but it was not in payment obviously before she moved in. I am not sure if it can be awarded to assist with this – but wonder if the Gargett case helps in this scenario? At para 32 it states –

    32. For the reasons given above in the analysis of the 2001 Regulations the limit placed on DHPs by Regulation 4 does not prevent the Council from exercising its discretion to make DHPs for past housing costs (arrears of rent) on the ground that the applicant is currently receiving full housing benefit. The Council misconstrued the 2001 Regulations by giving the fact that she was already in receipt of full housing benefit as the reason why it had no discretion to grant Ms Gargett’s application for DHPs. ” Does this mean that we can use the dhp fund for the scenario of our claimant or not? She has some ineligible service charges included in her rent, but it is help towards the remainder that we have been asked to consider. Help and advice appreciated please! Thanks Therese

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