Dual Liability & DHP

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  • #38463
    John Boxall
    Participant

    I’ve been looking at postings on this which seem plausible.

    I have a disabled claimant, moved to a new property but there is an overlap with his previous home. He didnt move out of the old one until the end of the overlap period so cant get HB on two homes.

    Now there seems to be some support to the contention that he could get a DHP to make up the shortfall between his HB & the rent liability on his two properties but I still remain to be completley convinced.

    Can anyone convince – or unconvince me?

    :tired:

    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and—and in short you are for ever floored.

    Wilkins Micawber, Ch12 David Copperfield

    #108449
    AndrewDonald
    Participant

    Hi John,

    We have done it in Fife from day 1 (after reading CPAGs insight into DHP).

    From day 1 I have had a niggle that we shouldn’t and then the DWP came along and gave guidance that we could (not that their guidance made me feel re-asurred).

    It comes down to knowing it is right, but feeling it is wrong and then deciding that all in all you should do it.

    We thought landlords would abuse this idea, but they don’t. The people we pay it to under these circs really need it.

    Hope this post helps convince you.

    #148155
    John Smith
    Participant

    If we can now use one-off DHP for Removals or Rent Deposits (as being vaguely related to Housing Costs), I can see no reason why we cannot use a one-off DHP for the type of overlap where the tenant has failed to move out – an absurd rule in the first place – an overlap is an overlap, and it should make no difference whether the request is for payment of a notice period at the old property, or for the rent before moving to the new one (IMHO). Oddly enough, I have just been asked this question by an assessor, which is why I am trawling these old links …

    #148156
    John Boxall
    Participant

    [quote=John Smith]

    If we can now use one-off DHP for Removals or Rent Deposits (as being vaguely related to Housing Costs), I can see no reason why we cannot use a one-off DHP for the type of overlap where the tenant has failed to move out – an absurd rule in the first place – an overlap is an overlap, and it should make no difference whether the request is for payment of a notice period at the old property, or for the rent before moving to the new one (IMHO). Oddly enough, I have just been asked this question by an assessor, which is why I am trawling these old links …

    [/quote]

     

    Er, no DHP is only for rent – see Gargett

     

    Amusing though to see my past come back to haunt me!

    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and—and in short you are for ever floored.

    Wilkins Micawber, Ch12 David Copperfield

    #148157
    John Boxall
    Participant

    [quote=John Smith]

    If we can now use one-off DHP for Removals or Rent Deposits (as being vaguely related to Housing Costs), I can see no reason why we cannot use a one-off DHP for the type of overlap where the tenant has failed to move out – an absurd rule in the first place – an overlap is an overlap, and it should make no difference whether the request is for payment of a notice period at the old property, or for the rent before moving to the new one (IMHO). Oddly enough, I have just been asked this question by an assessor, which is why I am trawling these old links …

    [/quote]

     

    Er, no DHP is only for rent – see Gargett

     

    Amusing though to see my past come back to haunt me!

    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and—and in short you are for ever floored.

    Wilkins Micawber, Ch12 David Copperfield

    #148159
    John Smith
    Participant

    John, as far as I am aware, LAs are using DHP for removal costs and deposit bonds left right and centre, as discussed, for example here https://hbinfo.org/forums/topics/creating-payees-paying-removals-companies-dhp and here https://hbinfo.org/forums/topics/innovative-ideas-dhps and elsewhere.

    I cannot recall who looked into this at our LA, but as far as I can recall there was new guidance from the DWP saying that LAs could now use DHPs for any "Housing Related" costs, provided HB was in payment.

    We even had a case where a claimant asked to us to use DHP to pay for a solicitor to represent him in his appeal against the bedroom tax! We refused that one …

    #148160
    John Boxall
    Participant

    [quote=John Smith]

    John, as far as I am aware, LAs are using DHP for removal costs and deposit bonds left right and centre, as discussed, for example here https://hbinfo.org/forums/topics/creating-payees-paying-removals-companies-dhp and here https://hbinfo.org/forums/topics/innovative-ideas-dhps and elsewhere.

    I cannot recall who looked into this at our LA, but as far as I can recall there was new guidance from the DWP saying that LAs could now use DHPs for any "Housing Related" costs, provided HB was in payment.

    We even had a case where a claimant asked to us to use DHP to pay for a solicitor to represent him in his appeal against the bedroom tax! We refused that one …

    [/quote]

     

    Errrrrr……….  Not here they aint.  Like a lot of DWP 'Guidance' it might reflect the Policy Intention but it isnt what the law says

    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and—and in short you are for ever floored.

    Wilkins Micawber, Ch12 David Copperfield

    #148161
    John Smith
    Participant

    Thanks John. I'll look into the issue again. Personally, I've never liked the idea of using DHP to pay removal costs, so I hope you're right and we can put a stop to it as soon as possible. What about rent deposits and rent in advance? I'm just relooking at the DWP guidance manual on this site, and they are very clear in their guidnace that this is payable by DHP. Haven't seen anything about removal costs yet …

    Do you happen to know off hand the Act that sets out the Law on this issue?

    #148163
    jamcon
    Participant

    My take on it is that you can award a DHP for any amounts between the HB paid and the eligible rent. Gargett states that you don't have to look at just the present period, but can look at previous HB periods to do this (as long as it is not before July 2001, of course). So if you want to pay someone removal costs who is receiving full HB at the moment, but they were not receiving full HB in a previous period, you can carve out an amount between the HB and eligible rent. This is as much to do with the way the Court of Appeal says you have to calculate a DHP, even if it is paid as a lump sum as opposed to weekly payments. To my mind, the DWP guidance is completely at variance with the Court of Appeal's decision. 

    As for the original post, my take is for overlapping periods the eligible rent is the combined rents and you can pay DHP for the amounts between the HB paid and the combined rents.  

    #148164
    John Boxall
    Participant

    The legislation is the Discretionary Financial Assistance Regulations 2001 which is here

    https://hbinfo.org/legislation/main-regulations/discretionary-financial-assistance-regulations-2001

    The caselaw is Gargett, R (on the application of) v London Borough of Lambeth [2008] EWHC 663 (Admin)

    Which is at

    https://hbinfo.org/caselaw/gargett-r-application-v-london-borough-lambeth-2008-ewhc-663-admin

    But there is no mention in any of it of payments for Deposits, Rent in Advance, Moving Costs etc etc…………………

     

    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and—and in short you are for ever floored.

    Wilkins Micawber, Ch12 David Copperfield

    #148167
    John Smith
    Participant

    Thanks John and Jamcon. Having read the regs and the Gargett decision, I beleive that you are clearly right and that the DWP's guidance is wrong and based on a misunderstanding of their own regs. However, DWP guidance is clear – I read on further yesterday and they specifically refer to both rent deposits and removal costs – and from what I have gathered, a lot of LAs are following it. It would be interesting if a refusal to award DHP for removal costs, etc, was taken on review after the new DHP guidance …

    #148170
    jamcon
    Participant

    John B, regulation 2(1)(b) states financial assistance can be given where a LA believes someone is in extra financial need with their housing costs. I think housing costs can be interpreted widely enough to incude moving costs and not just rent (and previously Council Tax). Regulation 3 gives a list of housing costs DHP can't cover. If a housing cost, and I realise what constitutes a housing cost may be debateable, is not specifically precluded, then potentially you can award a DHP for it.The gripe I have with the DWP guidance is over the calculation of lump sum payments and its disregard for Gargett. 

    #148171
    John Smith
    Participant

    Jamcon, but is the issue not that Reg 2 (as interpreted by the court in the Gargett decision) goes on the state that DHP is payable where the customer is in receipt of HB and the need is "arising from his liability to make periodical payments in respect of the dwelling which he occupies as his home" – which clearly does not include nonsense like paying man with white van for removals?

    #148193
    jamcon
    Participant

    John, I guess that's part of the debate of what constitutes a housing cost. Does the cost of moving into a property arise from the signing of the tenancy and the periodical payments that have to be made? Some will say yes, others no. It depends on how elastic you want to be with the definition. Only a court ruling will probably clear that up, which is unlikely. I can only think of three court cases concerning DHP over the 14 years its been in operation.

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