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    Hi, this may seem like a stupid question – however I shall go ahead anyway.

    A Housing Association tenant with a weekly liability gets the offer of a new tenancy which will start 12th June 2006. In order to minimise the period of rent overlap notice is given on 30th May 2006 and is effective for the period 5th June 2006 – 2nd July 2006.

    The regulations (as we now) allow us to pay in certain circumstances for up to 4 weeks where there is an unavoidable liability to make payment on 2 homes and they’ve moved in etc. In my particular case this starts on 12th June 2006.

    What date would you calculate the 4 weeks from, I have been given 2 opinions and would interested what others think.

    – Notice was given on 30th May 2006 so the 4 weeks starts ticking from that date, meaning HB on 2 homes can only be considered up to 27th June 06

    [i:91651658f6]2nd opinion

    – The landlord has decided the period of notice and it is effective from 5th June 06. The period of any overlap does not start until 12th June 06, therefore in effect you can consider 4 weeks from this date. In my example this would obviously end 2nd July 06.

    What do people think / do and when do you start the 4 week clock.



    I agree with the second option – you start counting from the point at which the claimant becomes liable to make payments in respect of two dwellings and has moved. From the date when those conditions are met, HB on two homes is payable for as long as you are satisfied that the overlap could not reasonably be avoided. If this is the same landlord at both properties, though, I would question why the overlap is in fact unavoidable. Don’t HAs normally have to beat off applicants with a mucky stick? Can they really not relet the old one before the notice period runs out? Or are you taking the view that that isn’t the claimant’s problem – he had to give notice anyway? Fair enough I suppose.

    Kevin D

    I agree with Peter. HBR 7(6)(d) doesn’t specify when the 4 weeks starts from – it simply says that you can’t cover more than 4 weeks.


    John Boxall

    Following on from Peter’s point about the HA being able to relet the property, I have had this debate before, and the regulations are quite clear, does the tenant have unavoidable liability. If he does then we have to pay, even if in fact the HA could relet the property in that period.

    There is, however a further question, presumably the tenant has the right of occupation of the property he has left in the notice period, even if the keys have been returned. What is the position in tenancy law if the landlords manage to relet it in this period (can they?) Should any rent paid for the notice period be refunded or is it a contractual obligation on the former tenant. ❓

    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


    Thank you for the replies – glad 2nd option is favoured at that was my argument, you look at when dual liability starts and then decide if that period is reasonable / unavoidable.

    In relation to yours John, I have previously checked and where a landlord relet’s during the notice period they can’t also have the notice. Hence it being sensible to make the dual HB decision at the end of the 4 week period and ensure the outgoing property has not been relet.


    For what it’s worth i also agree with the second opinion because reg.7(6)(d) states ‘in a case where a person [b:f398581b7b]has moved[/b:f398581b7b] into a new dwelling…’ therefore I think the reg, and therefore the four week period, applies from the first day in which he has moved i.e. the first day he is occupying.

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