How to claim a 2 bed rate and 1 bed rate on one Joint AST in order to cover the full rent

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  • #40008
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Hi Peter and Andy…

    We have a case at the moment where the rent we are charging for a property is £1100. There are two tenants on a joint AST who are friends. Each tenant has sole use of two rooms, though one tenant is on their own and the other also has their daughter staying with them. As a result they ought to be entitled between them to 1 bed rate & a 2 bed rate respectively.

    However, when filling in the Housing Benefit form and apportioning the rental liability 45% to 55% between the tenants on the form where this is requested, it was considered by the benefit officer concerned that this cannot be possible. Rather the two joint tenants can only be 50% responsible for the rent each & so as 50% of £1100 is £550, the person with their daughter can only claim this amount even though it was agreed their entitlement is a 2 bed rate of £600pcm.

    Wss hoping you might be able to provide some clarity on this matter, as I’m pretty sure you’ve said you can put who ever you want in a property and if they are on a joint AST they should be allowed to claim between them their full entitlement up to the amount of rent required by the tenancy? As always any regulations we can use in backing up an appeal for the extra rent we are curently short of would be be appreciated.

    cheers,

    Matt Harper

    =====

    Btw…. This does beg the question however, if the rent in this instance was only say £950, how would they calculate what benefit would be paid on behalf on each tenant to cover the rent? i.e. would it be a 50/50 split or a 45/55% apportioned perecentage calculation of their entitlement? i.e. 55% of £950(for person and daughter) & 45% of £950 (for person). Largely irrelevant i know but interested to know.

    #114203
    Andy Thurman
    Keymaster

    The assessor is quite categorically wrong!!

    The 50/50 split is absolute for Council Tax Benefit but for HB, the apportionment can (& should) be done in whatever way best suits the facts as shown to the authority.

    To be as fair as I can to the assessor, they may be wondering why there is a difference if the two tenants essentially have a 50/50 split of the property but to say it is ‘impossible’ is not right.

    #114208
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Hi Andy,

    I’m a bit unclear as to what is meant by ”best suits the facts as shown to the authority”? Or at least how can we go about justifying the difference in this instance?

    Something like … That because of the child staying at the property we deemed there to be additional possible wear and tear which we were prepared to accept on the basis of a slightly higher rent overall (i.e. £1100 as opposed to £1000)?

    Or is it for the tenants to push for their right to full entitlement? Should we or the tenants state anything in terms of regulations in appealing this decision?

    Incidentally also, should the tenancy agreement specify this 45% / 55% split? My presumption had always been that if a joint tenancy is signed for a property then it doesn’t matter what the split is as such as between them they are liable for the total rent. Rather therefore it is for the tenants to claim to the maximum they are entitled to between them ?!?

    thanks,

    Matt

    #114220
    Andy Thurman
    Keymaster

    Hi Matt,

    Absolutely right – the apportionment is completely down to the tenants (you should stay well clear!).

    The tenants should simply state that this was their own agreement on moving in. Further justification shouldn’t be necessary but if, perhaps, they can state that the ‘mum’ has nicer/bigger/more conveniently situated rooms (??) it might just ease the assessor’s concerns!

    #114717
    david bradley
    Participant

    Hi Matt,

    When filling out the LHA forms ( I do it for the tenants) I generally do not fill i the section regarding the room allocation unless its for single occupancy/1 bed rate. therefore the tenant without the daughter I would fill it in and the tenant with the daughter I would not fill it in because the property (number of rooms, it could be a box) is not relevant to their claim.

    You dont need to inform the LA and justify why you may charge one tenant more than anther. You simply need to prove that your 1 bed tenant has the physical requirements that differentiates it from shared accommodation.

    D

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