Sub-tenant claiming HB is landlord’s carer

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    Good Day,

    Could I have some advice please.  We have received a HB claim from a sub-tenant of a council tenant. He is paying £85 a week rent to the council tenant and he is also her live-in carer, she receives IS, Dla and Sda.

    I was wondering if we can pay HB as I had doubts over the commerciality of the agreement, however the resident landlady has now threatened him with eviction proceedings, so I feel the claim should be awarded.

    Thanks in advance.




    This case deals with adult placement and exempt etc. and I wonder if there is a bit more to this; are Social Services involved?

    If not, then you would have to consider all the issues. In general terms it would be unusual for a tenant to care for their landlord …but not impossible. So that is just one factor….what about the others? Is there an agreement between the parties and what is it? Has rent always been charged? Is this formal paid employment and so on? Is this really a landlord / tenant arrangement? Or is the real intention that he keeps the £85 HB to pay for his caring duties?

    You have to judge these on the facts and reach a conclusion on the balance of probabilities and make a decision either way. The “pressure” you are facing should not sway you either way.

    Trevor Kenward

    Cant see how he can he can be a sub-tenant in a council property -more likely he’s a boarder ?


    Thank you Peter. I will query these areas with the claimant and landlord. I forgot to mention that our Housing department advised the landlord to take on the sub-tenant as she will lose Hb due to the under occupancy rules.
    I think we will have to be careful in this type of case, as on one hand we are advising a person to take in a sub-tenant/lodger, but then on the other hand we may refuse to pay HB to the sub-tenant due to contrivance.

    Darren W

    Have you checked to see if they fall foul of the tied accommadation rules? Does the “landlord” require overnight care? If so it might be a case that they need to live there to do their carers duties.


    Thanks Darren, I will add that question into my list of queries with the claimant.



    If the person is a sub-tenant aren’t the ‘care’ arrangements irrelevant? I.e. shouldn’t they simply be counted as an occupier because they are a sub-tenant with the rental income taken into account for the landlord? Based on what is stated I’m assuming they have permission to sub-let.

    If they were only counted as an occupier because they a carer I would want to know more – but I can’t see how care arrangements would invalidate a sub-tenant liability.

    It may be easier to work out what they were first; a sub-tenant who happens to care for the landlord or a carer who is now being charged rent? I can only see potential problems if the latter is the case.


    I’m assuming that the eviction proceedings are for “rent” arrears? If so is the LL paying for the care and, if so, how much? I’m pretty sure that there would be a common law right to offset the rent against wages. Even if there is not why on Earth would you pay somebody £x per week when, at the same time they pay you Y per week.

    I have some difficuty accepting the arrangement, and severe difficulty accepting the situation, as painted.

    I think you should be starting with R8 and then move on to R9, commmerciality, tied, created to take advantage. Like Peter, I suspect there is a bit (well, a lot actually) more to this.

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