non commercial?

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    tenant was paying rent to his sister who owned the property(well we were paying hb for him) . it has now emerged the property is now owned by his father and was transferred to him in april this year.
    we have paid sister up to october but father has not asked us about paying hb to him.
    do we just cancel back to april when father owned property and then look at cemmercial aspects or what?
    info re who owns property from land registery.

    dave 😕

    John Boxall

    Stand back for a moment.

    If the property changes hands it does not bring the tenants liability to an end, it simply transfers to the new landlord.

    And there is no reason why the sister cannot now be acting as agent.

    So, the first thing to do needs to be to decide what you want to do and what the law allows you to do.

    So, what is there about the arrangement that makes you think that it’s not commercial? It seems to me that the first question is does he have a rent liability at all (on the face of it he does) and who should payments be made to? If you were paying the sister as landlord I would start by asking questions like is she now acting as the agent and why were you not advised of the change in ownership

    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and—and in short you are for ever floored.

    Wilkins Micawber, Ch12 David Copperfield


    Completely agree with John

    On the issue of commerciality the proper approach to the issue of whether a tenancy or other agreement is on a commercial basis is to make a finding as to the “constituent facts.”: see R(H)1/03 at [21].

    The decision maker must start with an investigation into all aspects of the arrangement on which the claim is based. Having made the necessary inquiries the decision maker should make findings of constituent fact on relevant matters. These findings of constituent facts provide the foundation for a finding on the compound fact: that the arrangement is or is not on a commercial basis.

    It is important to note that the decision-maker is required to consider whether the agreement on the basis of which the claimant occupies the dwelling includes terms that are not enforceable at law: see regulation 9(2) of the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006. This is however only one of the factors that should be considered and is not determinative of the matter.

    In CH/2899/2005 at [14] Deputy Commissioner Richard Poynter said concerning what was then regulation 7(1A), “Regulation 7(1A) of the Housing Benefit Regulations requires the tribunal to have regard to that factor in every case in which the commerciality of an agreement is in question. The weight to be attached to the factor is a matter for the tribunal and will vary from case to case. But the factor has been identified by the legislator as one to which decision makers must have some regard and tribunals are not permitted simply to ignore it.”

    Mark Rodgers


    Thank you for the replies. Just to expand a bit on this case there is shortfall on the benefit we are are paying but the tenant has not paid the diiference and it now seems the property is going to be “gifted to him” and its going through the legal proccesses at the moment.
    ideally i would juss like to leave it as it stands and when the property is transferred to him no more housing benefit but do still qeustion the commercial aspect more so as he is going get the property anyway.


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