joint tenants

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    We have had a couple of cases recently where we have found out our customer, who we currently pay at 100% of the liability has another person named on the tenancy agreement.

    The other person is a grown up son/daughter of the claimant and we've established that they where added to the tenancy agreement for secure of tenure once the claimant pops their cloggs rather than anything else.  Therefore we are happy to accept that the rental liability is split 100% / 0% between the join tenants.

    However given that, the son/daughter are currently inlcuded as a NDEP on the claimants HB award.  Presumably they should be removed and no NDEP deduction apply as they are a joint tenant, albeit one who's share of the liability is 0%


    Technically I think that must be correct but it is a very generous decision. You are saying that there are two households in the property but then aportioning one at zero. That means that one person gets all the rights to live in the property and succeed to the tenancy…all without paying any contribution to the rent?

    The 100%/0% decision is not intended to be a way around non-dep deductions nor to be a longer term arrangement (I had a case some years ago in front of Judge Jacobs on this point). So a bit dubious on this!


    Remember that they are jointly liable for council tax so you have to apportion that between the joint tenants equally and each will need to claim Council Tax Benefit if they wish.


    Following on from Peter’s point. I’d have a very hard time trying to get that past an auditor – 100% and no non-dep deduction. Similarly, what if the non-dep makes a claim in their own right at some point in the future because they have been named on the tenancy agreement? In cases like this I think you have to make them one or the other and I would keep them as a non-dep as that is what the actual real-life situation appears to be.

    I know that landlords now tend to want to put all and sundry on their tenancy agreements nowadays for whatever reason but sometimes we have to strip it all down to what the real-life situation is without drowning in the numerous and varied legal ramifications. It is what it is.

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