Seized Property – reg 9

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  • #40039
    Debbie Wake
    Participant

    Customer claims his property was seized following a criminal prosecution and subsequently sold. He has been released following a spell in prison and by happy coincidence has been given the option to rent his former home as friends bought it and are now happy to rent it back to him!

    Would he be exempt from Reg 9 former owner rules?

    #114294
    Kevin D
    Participant

    No. If he was a former owner (as defined within HBR 2) within the past 5 years and the reason for relinquishing ownership was not in order to continue occupation, nil HB irrespective of any other consideration.

    Based on the facts given, it seems pretty clear ownership was relinquished for reasons other than continuing occupation.

    As an aside, property seizures would be provable with legal documents but that would only be potentially relevant in relation to other arms of HBR 9.

    #114296
    Debbie Wake
    Participant

    Thanks, sorry to sound a bit thick but what other arms of reg 9 are you refering to in your post?

    #114309
    Kevin D
    Participant

    If the 5-yr rule didn’t apply, there could be issues relating to commerciality or taking advantage. In fact, the brief info suggests enquiries could be justified as to whether there is a liability at all (this would engage s.130 of the SSCBA 1992 and HBR 8 ).

    However, because the 5-yr rule is absolute (based on the info given so far), there isn’t any need to worry about the other aspects. The might change if the clmt appeals and the grounds include arguments that the 5-yr rule doesn’t apply. In that situation, depending on the details of the grounds, it may be necessary to revise the decision pre Tribunal to include alternative parts to the decision. In theory, you could get something like this:

    ——————————————-
    “The Council has revised its decision of “X-date”. The Council has now decided you are not entitled to HB because:

    1) you are not liable to make payments in respect of your dwelling at “address”.

    In the alternative, if there is such a liability, you are treated as not being liable to make those payments because:

    2) the agreement between you and your landlord isn’t on a commercial basis; and/or

    3) you owned the dwelling within the past 5 years and the reason for relinquishing ownership was not related to continuing your occupancy; or

    4) if none of the above applies, the liability has been created to take advantage of the HB scheme.”
    ——————————————-

    As an aside, has the LA double checked the ownership details on the Land Registry – both past and present? If the clmt is still an “owner”, any payments made by him are ineligible for HB (see HBR 12(2)(c )) – that would be a further alternative to the above (positioned at number “2”) if the HBR 8 option was retained.

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