Sham tenancy/ non-commercial/taking advantage?

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    Could I have some advice on the following please? A HB application form
    has been received by a customer for a period when he was not working – 29/8/06 – 10/10/06 (in re-hab). The landlord is the father who has previously rented the property for 18 years to relatives. The previous tenant – landlords father-in-law, died in March when the son was supposed to have moved in. Prior to this he was living with his father at the family home. The tenancy agreement is for one year – 7/3/06 – 6/3/07. The problem I have is that rent has not been charged for the period 7/3/06 – 30/6/06 because relatives were visiting the house & taking possessions they wanted from previous occupier. The father therefore did not feel it right to charge rent for this period. However, the rent book only shows a payment of £100.00 on 30/6/06 (cash). The rent is £95.00 inclusive of a £5.00 per week water charge. The father says he is not worried about arrears as they will be paid eventually from the claimant’s earnings. There is no mortgage on this property and the landlord states he will not rent to anyone other than relatives. Due you think as we have paid HB before to other relatives I am treading on sticky ground? Any advice/caselaw would be much appreciated.

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