Rent and payment "in kind"

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    Hello all,

    I wonder if i can ask for some views on the following case-

    We have a S/E claimant who lives on a farm. His rent is stated to be £300 pm. The rent officer has restricted this to £250.00 pm. The claimant is S/E and his income is below his Applicable Amount so he gets full HB and CTB.

    On a recent QA check we noticed he only actually pays £200 pm to his landlord, and when challenged on this he said he makes up the other £100 by doing £100 worth of work for the farmer every month.

    I’m a bit unsure how to proceed with this. I think we should add the £100 pm into his claim as income, and leave all other details alone (ie leave the rent as £300, and continue to pay out on the restricted £250). However this extra “income” still leaves him below his AAmount so full benefit would still be paid, and a part of me thinks he is making £50 pm due to this arrangement? (Cash he has to pay=£200, amount of HB received=£250)

    Would you all do as decribed above? We have also considered re-referring his rent as £200 but thought this would be incorrect.

    What do you folks think?


    Hello again all,

    I had posted this a wee while ago and received no responses. I’m trying to cheat and see if re-posting it can bring me any opinions!!!!

    Basically we have someone who’s lease says he pays £300 pm rent. We have discovered he only pays £200, and makes up the rest by doing £100 worth of work for the owner.

    His rent has been referred as £300 and the RO has restricted to £250.

    Having discovered this about his payments we feel we have 2 options-

    1/ Add £100 pm into the income used on his claim (due to very low income this would not affect level of benefit paid), and continue to regard his rent as £300. (it feels like he is making £50 pm profit from us).


    2/ View his rent as only £200 pm, (the other £100 as being “in kind” and therefore inelligible), and re-refer to the RO on that basis- leaving his income as it currently is.

    How would folk handle this and why??? Any contribution would be gratefully recieved.


    Just a thought,

    Have you considered whether occupation of the home is a condition of employment? (Don’t get too many farms in Wolverhampton, after all!)

    If not how do can you know that the jobs done by claimant equal £100.00 of rent?

    Ready to be shot down in flames (as usual!)

    Do I know what I'm doing? The jury's out on that........................


    Hello Mark P,

    Thanks for your reply!!!!

    There is nothing in the lease which suggests there is any kind of “tied house” sort of situation going on. The guy is self-employed and works on various local farms.

    It seems he just happens to live on this one and we presume he has entered into this wee “sub-agreement” with the landlord regarding the rent.

    As for knowing that he provides £100 worth of work- well we don’t have any way of really independantly quantifying that- we are only going on the claiman’t word at present. Unless we refer the whole thing to our fraud section…….


    One further thought then. The rent actually changing hands is £200 pm. I think you would be within your rights to reduce the rent to that and treat the additional payment in kind as a notional wage (work for which a claimant could expect payment). Would that still leave a maximum entitlement in your case?

    It may be worth a referral to fraud although how they’d actually carry out an investigation on a self – employed claimant who also works for his landlord I don’t know.

    Do I know what I'm doing? The jury's out on that........................


    Thanks again for your reply Mark P,

    Adding £100 worth of income will still mean our claimant is under his applicable amount.

    I suppose what i am really asking is whether either of the 2 approaches are just plain wrong?? And if neither are- then we’ll just have to make our own judgement.

    I think taking the rent to be £200, and re-referring is probably the most sensible- as you suggest- but at the same time I can’t find any rule which says HB could NOT be paid on the extra £100 even though it is in effect a “payment in kind”.

    Does all the rent HAVE to be in cash to be eligible for HB?

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