RSL tenant 50% rent paid through UC

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  • #57657
    floater
    Participant

    Hi All

    I am trying to clarify the following.

    I have a client who is/was joint tenant with his wife – she had now had to go into long term care (it more than likely will not be temporary absence).

    The issue we are having is that UC is only paying 50% of the rent,, however back in Housing Benefit days this person would have got full benefit (subject possibly to the bedroom tax)

    Any help greatly appreciated

    #163430
    liffe
    Participant

    Hi

     

    We have had a similar scenario where ex husbands name had not been removed from tenacy due to legal reasons. We queried with  UC and have been advised " We are aware that there are cases where the claimants circumstances have changed and this needs to be explained to the UC case manager or agent so that the correct amount of housing cost can be included in their claim. These are classed as ‘Untidy Tenancies’ where they are not just straight forward."

    "The guidance is in place where these scenarios can happen and that the partners will never be removed from the tenancy agreement and they should then be paid the full amount appropriate to their household make up but this is all dependant on the information given as part of the claim."

    Basically the claimant needs to explain to UC their circumstances not ideal I agree but hope this helps

     

     

    #163433
    julief
    Participant

    Hi, I've come across this many times, via DHP applications, and it's been a struggle to get the housing costs increased as the RSL won't remove the other party from the tenancy agreement. It's good to see that UC have guidance on this, but I've never yet seen HCs increased, and we've been live since Nov 16. 

     

     

     

     

    #163435
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    To be fair, I don’t think UC are necessarily wrong. Where there is more than one person on the tenancy, HB has a discretion to pay a higher amount than the individual share but it remains a discretion. It was not automatic even though often treated as such by local authorities. The absent tenant remains liable to pay the rent and the fact that HB picked up the tab does not change this….but it is arguable that it made social landlords (including Council housing) a bit lazy in their procedures etc.

    The first one given is a good example of where the discretion should be used but the second one? A bit dubious. Should the State pick up the tab in these circumstances?

    The right course of action is that the claimant should appeal against the UC decision. People seem so quick to appeal HB decisions yet are so reluctant against DWP. Is that because they have to do a bit of work with the latter…rather than just write “I appeal”.

    #163437
    jamcon
    Participant

    Peter, on the vast majority of cases, there is no "share" of the rent as such as joint tenants are jointly and severally liable for the rent. So legally all the tenants are liable for the full amount. If one tenant has left the property and can't/won't contribute, then the remaining tenant will be liable for all the rent. I think it is only a matter of time before the DWP are taken to the UT and lose on this.  

    #163444
    John Boxall
    Participant

    Unlike private sector tenancies it is much less simple for a joint tenant to be removed from a Social Housing tenancy.

    I did have an interesting case where a woman turned out to be the joint owner of a house with her ex boyfriend, and got a rather nasty suprise when he got into mortgage arrears and the lenders started to chase her. 

    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

    #163446
    JSS
    Participant

    We've encountered this issue a few times since going live in July. I've liaised with our local Jobcentre and they're now happy to take a Council Tax bill showing a single person discount as sufficient, so maybe an option to explore.

    #163447
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    The trouble is that the absent joint tenant is still lawfully a tenant and has every right to enter the property or insist on rehousing. It is not an easy issue I agree…the UT has already looked at this but in a case I was involved in only agreed to pay the full rent for a short while not forever. The circs will be critical of course

    #163463
    Julian Hobson
    Participant

    1(b) seems pretty straight forward to me ?

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/376/schedule/2

     

    as is para 2 of the same schedule

    nothing new in any of this except the decision makers.

     

    #163470
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster
    Subject to regulation 9 (circumstances in which a person is to be treated as not liable to make payments in respect of a dwelling), the following persons shall be treated as if they were liable to make payments in respect of a dwelling—  
        (a) the person who is liable to make those payments;  
        (b) a person who is a partner of the person to whom sub-paragraph (a) applies;  
        (c) a person who has to make the payments if he is to continue to live in the home because the person liable to make them is not doing so and either—  
          (i) he was formerly a partner of the person who is so liable; or  
          (ii) he is some other person whom it is reasonable to treat as liable to make the payments;
    #163471
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    Failure to pay by the person who is liable

    2.—(1) A claimant is to be treated as liable to make payments where all of the conditions specified in sub-paragraph (2) are met.

    (2) These are the conditions—

    (a)the person who is liable to make the payments is not doing so;

    (b)the claimant has to make the payments in order to continue occupation of the accommodation;

    (c)the claimant’s circumstances are such that it would be unreasonable to expect them to make other arrangements;

    (d)it is otherwise reasonable in all the circumstances to treat the claimant as liable to make the payments.

    #163472
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    Sorry Julian but I dont agree. The UC regs are much tougher imo and contain a harsher set of tests….. look at Failure to pay by the person who is liable for instance…Hb and UC above. “in all the circumstances” “unreasonable to expect them to make other arrangements” etc.

    #163474
    John Boxall
    Participant

    This is something that will have a major impact on RSL's

    Also of course partners, usually with small children will be needing a Property Adjustment Order but not able to get Legal Aid for it…………….

    Agail LA's may well find themselves having to shell out in these cases

    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

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