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    Customer has telephoned enquirying whether we will pay housing benefit on his (intended) rented accomodation while he and his family move out for essential repairs to be carried out on their privately owned home. If the property that he owns is deemed uninhabitable can we in principal disregard the capital value of the property for up to 26 weeks – would anyone insist on perhaps environmental report to prove that it is uninhabitable?


    See Reg 7 (4)
    This states that someone who has to leave their home whilst essential repairs are being done, who has to make payments (rent, mortgage) on one but not both of the homes, is treated as living in the home the payments are made for.

    So you may be able to pay them at their temporary accomodation, but onle if thety don’t pay anything on the house tjat is being done up. (8 8)

    As to the standards of evidence, then you will need everything you think that you need to make your decision, and if you feel an envirinmental report, then be prepared to ask for it – after all I am not the onew making the decision!!

    Julian Hobson

    Are they in receipt of IS and getting Mortgage Interest on the old home ? Can’t get both that and HB.

    Irrespective of whether they get mortgage interest are they liable for mortgage payments on the old home ?

    I think sched 5 27 requires you to be satisfied that repairs are essential. The difficulty is establishing what is meant by essential. It usually follows that repairs requiring you to move are essential by their very nature and that the property is not fit. Uninhabitable doesn’t come into it, If you look at the analysis to old reg 5(4) in CPAg you will see that it can extend to what might at first glance appear quite cosmetic eg redecoration but that might depend upon the state of the current decoration.


    On the question of essential repairs, some guidance was given in Commissioners Decisions R(SB) 10/81 and CH 0393 2002.

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