Disregarded property

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    I have a case (pension age) where the claimant was left a property which belonged to her deceased father. The claimant owns a 70% share, and her brother owns the other 30%. The claimant has been appointed the exectuor of the estate and as a trustee to protect the other beneficiary’s interest. The claimant made a claim for HB in May 2007 and is renting a housing association property. We have disregarded the value of her inherited property as she is marketing it for sale.

    However the property has not been sold, she has had three agents, although only one since 2008, she had accepted two reduced offers, both of which have fallen through. The latter of which was because the buyers could not secure a mortgage, so she allowed them to move in and let the property, in the hope that in the future they would be able to secure a mortgage.

    We have now decided after three years that it is no longer ‘reasonable’ to continue to disregard the value of the property. The claimant has requested a reconsideration on the grounds that we are saying that she should reduce the price, which conflicts with her interests as a trustee/executor. We have said that she could do more to secure a sale, considering the asking price being one of these things, but also suggested auction, changing agents etc..

    We have driven past the property and there is no for sale board, and not on the agents website or rightmove!!

    Any thoughts appreciated 😀

    Chris Robbins

    I see nothing wrong with what you have done. My only observation is that if she wishes you to contine the disregard the burden of proof in showing that it is still reasonable to do so rests with her.
    I would write to ask her for documentary evidence of which agents she is currently using and what marketing activities have been undertaken in say the last 6/12 months. You would need this evidence anyway inorder to properly reconsider the decision.


    Seems reasonable to ask what steps she is taking if she wants disregard to continue. To be fair, not having board up could be regarded as understandable if the property is standing empty.

    Andy Thurman

    [quote:5d01b7516b]she allowed them to move in and let the property, in the hope that in the future they would be able to secure a mortgage.[/quote:5d01b7516b]

    At this stage, I would argue that the ‘reasonable’ attempts to sell were not being fulfilled.

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