LHA and Sub Tenants

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    We have had a number of claims recently whereby landlords are letting large properties to individuals, who then sub-let the rooms.
    Most recently – a Polish Worker (who is eligible to claim) rented a house for £600 per month, letting rooms at £50 pw to 4 other Polish Workers. The tenancy agreement was only in the form of a landlord’s letter and was accepted as proof of his liability. The other occupiers were included in the assessment as non deps (no deds though!), with the rent that they paid being used as the claimant’s income.
    Now – we have a signed tenancy agreement between the landlord and one of the ndep/ subtenants for exactly the same scenario; the original customer has now become a ndep – the new ‘tenant’ has an agreement to pay the landlord £600pm and is collecting the rent of £50pw from the other 4 occupiers.
    Fraud have called the landlord in for a chat – he is happy with the situation because the rent is being paid! The problem that arises is – does the new tenancy agreement totally override the other? If so, has the original claimant been overpaid because his liability would have ended when the new agreement started? Should the landlord name all of the occupiers on the agreement (he is unlikely to do this!). Are we correct in ending one claim and starting another with the ‘new’ tenant?
    The problem is that another ndep/ subtenant is likely to be given an agreement in a few months!!


    Reg.9 (1) (g) may be of interest

    9. Circumstances in which a person is to be treated as not liable to make payments in respect of a dwelling
    (1) A person who is liable to make payments in respect of a dwelling shall be treated as if he were not so liable where—

    [b:c707ed477c](g)[/b:c707ed477c] subject to paragraph (3), before the liability was created, he was a non-dependant of someone who resided, and continues to reside, in the dwelling;

    (3) Sub-paragraphs (e) and (g) of paragraph (1) shall not apply in a case where the person satisfies the appropriate authority that the liability was not intended to be a means of taking advantage of the housing benefit scheme.

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