Is it correct to refuse payment of Housing Benefit ?

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    We have a claimant who is a joint owner with his sister of the property into which he has recently moved. His sister doesn’t reside at the property. He has made a claim for Housing Benefit on this property with his sister as his Landlord and we immediately refused the claim under Reg 12 (2) (c) of the HB 2006 regs which says that ‘…a rent allowance shall not be payable in respect of the following periodical payments (c) payments made by an owner.

    The claimant has appealed and his solicitors are arguing that as the claimant is involved in a matrimonial financial claim, he is unable to dispose of any of his financial assets and has no benefit from owning the property. The claimant has given an undertaking not to sell or deal with his interest of the property until the County Court make an order, which they tell me could take up to a year.

    I need to consider our decision in the light of this extra information, but can’t see that despite the claimants assets being tied up in a matrimonial claim, we would be correct in paying Housing Benefit to an owner, after all he is still the owner. Has anyone got any good advice on this one?


    Nothing to add really – you seem to have summed it up quite succinctly and I would agree that HB cannot be paid. It would be different if the property in question were other to the one he is renting but as that’s not the case then the situation is as covered in Reg 12 (2).

    Do I know what I'm doing? The jury's out on that........................


    Whether or not the claimant has a beneficial interest in the property is irrelevant – if his name is on the Land Registry office copies as joint freeholder, he is an owner for the purposes of the regulation you cite.

    See [i:de60c1a0d5]Burton v New Forest District Council 2004[/i:de60c1a0d5] – a case I found very useful in an appeal I was dealing with recently.


    Thank you both for your replies. They are very helpful

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