License to occupy?

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    Wonder if any fellow contributors could help me get a better understanding of what is meant by the terms ‘license to occupy’ and permission to occupy’ and how they differ from leases.Auditors are about to descend and have indicated they will be specifically scrutinising our expenditure on HB for homeless, particularly that covered by the threshold/cap arrangement.I want to be absolutely certain in advance that my understanding is correct.Any assistance would be much appreciated


    Put at its most basic, I beleive a licence will come about in circumstances such as family arrangements, sharing arrangements, long stay hotels, hostels, acts of kindness and genuine lodging arrangements. A lease (and a tenancy is a type of lease) will arise if an occupier has exclusive possession at a term of rent. The classic case on defining licence and tenancy is Street v Mountford [1985].


    If your auditors are asking whether you’ve got non-HRA payments in the wrong cell (eg B&B vs Licensed) the point is how the LA holds the property, not how the claimant holds it.
    See the 1998 subsidy order, section 17 (4) which makes this clear, and also:
    (a) If meals are provided to the occupant it’s definitely B&B.
    (b) Gives no definition of a licence. [The definition’s in Housing legislation not HB regs.]
    (c) A STL is a fixed-term lease for 10 years or less. [There will be a contract, in a safe in your Housing or Legal department.]

    If the auditors want more than the subsidy orders can tell you, it’s beyond your remit. Send them to bother your Housing/Legal people.

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