joint tenancy with non deps

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    I have a landlord who has a tenant with a rent of £219.00 per week. She lives in the property with 2 non dependant sons and a dependant son. The tenant currently qualifies for the 4 bedroom rate of £155.77 pwk. As the tenant is not making up the shortfall the landlord has suggested that he may give the tenant and the 2 non dependant sons a joint tenancy and therefore as stated by the landlord….


    They would not only be joint tenants, but also they would be part of each others household, & for that reason, I believe you have to award each tenant the 4 bed LHA rate as in case law:

    ‘AA c Chesterfield Borough Council v Secretary of State for Work And Pensions (HB) (2011) UKUT 156 (AAC).

    Signed on the original on 7 April 2011

    Nicholas Wikeley, Judge of the Upper Tribunal


    He would like advice so he can increase the rent to the maximum amount of HB he could receive.


    Any advice.



    He is right in principle, but I would suggest that any increase in the total rent above its current level would make it very difficult for the new joint tenants to escape Reg 9(1)(g): they would be absolutely bang to rights. The claimant would still get the four-bed rate and the non-dep deductions would still apply because of Reg 3(3) – they wouild gain nothing in other words.

    If the current rent is not excessive in itself, then reconfiguring the tenancy to allow it all to be covered would have less of the appearance of abuse and personally I would allow that under Reg 9(3). Some wouldn’t though.

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