Entitlement prior to moving in

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  • #31716
    Anonymous
    Guest

    We have a customer who is aged 89 years and delayed in moving into a housing association property (from privately rented) due to the fact that she had to arrange, and wait for a BT landline to be put in. This was essential to her because her son who is diabled and lives with her, has severe epilepsy and she had to have the landline installed before she moved in. Do you think this could count as a delay necessary in order to adapt the dwelling to meet the disablement needs of that person or any member of his family or do you think this is wide of the intention of the regs? I know she has not had to have structural changes made to the property itself, but could the installation of a telephone line be interpreted as necessary to meet the disabled needs of her resident son?? Thanks Therese

    #88692
    Nicky
    Participant

    ch/3857/2004 and ch/3458/2004 look into the definition of adaptation to meet the claimant’s needs.

    Essentially it was found that adaptation means a change to the fabric or structure of the building (not merely carpeting or decorating).

    Personally, given the claimant’s circumstances, I’d probably allow HB prior to her moving in.

    #88693
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Thanks for the info Nicky. Therese

    #88694
    Kevin D
    Participant

    I agree Nicky’s suggestion is the morally correct route. Unfortunately, that doesn’t necessarily mean the law has been satisfied.

    The only glimmer that springs to mind is if the installation of the telephone line involved physical works to the dwelling. As it’s HA accommodation, I suspect the telephone line was physically installed, but just needed to be connected mechanically. Given the legal authorities available (there are more than those cited by Nicky), the latter wouldn’t be an alteration to the fabric or structure of a dwelling.

    Also, based on experience, I’m a bit surprised there would need to be any significant delay for the installation of a landline in the circumstances. I knew someone who moved into HA accom where a telephone line was needed. It was a new build property and there had been no previous connection. The telecon provider was quite happy to get things moving very quickly and the landline was up and running within 48 hours. Even though it was a first-time connect, the “installation” really didn’t involve anything that could sensibly be described as an alteration to the fabric or structure of the dwelling.

    #88695
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    Was the claimant getting HB at the privately rented property? In other words, were you thinking of paying for one or the other but not both? Reg 7 . 8 is not a “two homes” provision. If I remember the recent caselaw correctly, the claimant can choose which property they want HB to be paid at – by withdrawing the claim at the first address and reclaiming at the second for instance.

    See CH/1609/2009, mentioned here:

    https://hbinfo.org/newspub/hbinfonewsletters/caselawup9.doc

    #88696
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Peter – if this is a “two homes” case, I think reg 7(6)(e) covers them.

    #88697
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    Yes sorry I did not make myself very clear. I cannot see how a telephone can possibly meet the criteria; not in these days of cheap pay as you go mobiles that can be bought instantly for a £ or so.

    So if you reject the application, you can still offer the claimant a “better buy” on which property they get HB for.

    #88698
    Kevin D
    Participant

    [quote:561d41d7c3=”peterdelamothe”]So if you reject the application, you can still offer the claimant a “better buy” on which property they get HB for.[/quote:561d41d7c3]

    But ONLY if the “old” award has been ended/terminated/superseded at the time of moving into the new address. A retrospective “withdrawal” by the claimant isn’t allowed – same UTD that was cited above.

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