Renting from a former partner

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    Reg 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—
    (c) his liability under the agreement is—
    (i) to his former partner and is in respect of a dwelling which he and his former partner occupied before they ceased to be partners; or

    This seems clear enough but the latest CPAG suggested it MIGHT only apply to the claimant’s last partner. I have an appeal where the appellants solicitors have seized on this suggestion, arguing that it cannot possibly have been the intention to stop someone renting from a former partner they seperated from decades ago.

    Any views on this point?


    Not come accross anything which seems to have changed any interpretation…..just because it says something in CPAG……. 😉

    Cannot find relevant bit you are on about in CPAG, but their reasoning and what they have based this on would be interesting. 8)


    The suggestion is as the phrase used is “his former partner” rather than “a former partner” it only applies to ONE raher than a group (i.e. of former partners).

    Think they are flying a kite myself but I reckon the Commissioners could take the bait (mixing metaphors …).


    😈 Mainly to play devils advocate, 😈 I had a look at the OED definition of ‘former’, and I’d suggest that CPAG may have a point.

    The definitions given by the OED that appear to be suitiable are:

    “1. a. Earlier in time. Now chiefly in the more specific sense: Pertaining to the past, or to a period or occasion anterior to that in question.
    The sense ‘the earlier of two’ (in strictly temporal application) is obs. or arch. exc. with reference to the halves of a period of time.”


    “2. With reference to order. the former (often absol., with ellipsis of n.):
    b. The first mentioned of two; opposed to latter.
    A use app. of late introduction, but now so prominent that the other uses have become restricted to contexts in which the word could not be misinterpreted in this sense.”

    Thus ‘former’ in this context I would suggest means ‘immediately preceding’, especially following the comment attached to the 2nd meaning.

    Thats certainly how I’d argue it from the claimants side, hope that this makes sense.
    The OED can be found at



    My reading of this analysis in CPAG suggests that the argument has not been tested yet, but this obviously may be about to change! I think it is a valid argument to put even if it is not accepted by the Chair.

    I am not sure it would help if the partner of “decades ago” was the last partner, but I can see the argument if there have been other partners in the intervening period.


    Yes it is an interesting angle.

    But if correct, it would merely be enough for a claimant to demonstrate that they had a new partner to meet the requirement. That would be daft!

    Solicitors acting for the appellant say (very reasonably) that it cannot have been the intention of the legislation to have excluded tenants from renting from an ex-partner they had split from decades earlier. However, my point is that the fact this makes the legislation arguably “unfair” does not mean it can be ignored. Another part of regulation 9 ((1) h) does have a time limit of five years. It would have been easy for the draftsman to have included a time limit if this was thought appropriate.

    Kevin D

    Could it depend on which Commissioner gets it….. 😈

    There was a “splitting hairs” argument in a HBR 9(1)(d) case. I’m not suggesting the argument is the same, but there *maybe* some insight to be gained – could be worth taking a look at [b:1a5d02b9ac]CH/4003/2004[/b:1a5d02b9ac] (Rent & rent liability).

    As an aside, I wouldn’t be concerned about any argument about “fairness” in HBR 9. More than one CD comments on the fact that HBR 9 will, on occasion, bar innocent parties from HB. That argument, in itself, has never yet succeeded.

    For what it’s worth Peter, I reckon this one will go to Comms – and it probably should, to get proper clarification.


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