Suspect HB claim can we apply HB reg 9(1)(l)?

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  • #31655
    dominicana
    Participant

    Hello,

    I am dealing with a tricky case, and would be grateful for any advice or if anyone has come across a similar claim.

    The scenario is that the claimant was refused HB under HB reg 9(1)(b) as she stated that LL was her step dad. The claimant has stated in her appeal letter that this was an error, LL is not her step dad- this was a ruse to cover the fact that her mother is gay. That aside the decision to use reg 9(1)(b) does not apply as mum and step dad/ LL are not married.

    In the background- claimant’s mother has been investigated by our Fraud team for being the partner of said landlord/step father. Mother and LL have taken out loans and mortgages together citing one another as partners- Claimant’s mother used the reason that she was gay and could not be the partner of LL. The LL was also able to provide an address other than the claim, address as his permanent. (Note LL is now claiming from the claim address that clt’s mother claimed benefit from and is the same address claimant is claiming for)This claim was brought to an end, and claimant’s mother did not reapply.

    I wrote to the claimant to confirm a) whether her mum was still living at the claim address, if not when did her mother leave? b) I queried why her LL had not taken steps to evict her as she was nearly 2 months in rent arrears.

    Claimant has written back to advise that her mother left the property on 21/3/2010 and is living at number 10 ( same street) claimant is claiming for number 7.

    The council tax accounts for number 10 are not in mother’s name and single occupier discount is showing? I have asked the local taxation unit to make enquiries with the liable parties to confirm who is resident at number 10.

    Claimant’s LL states that he has not taken steps to evict the claimant because he has had to previously wait several weeks for benefit to be paid. The LL will however start eviction proceedings if we issue a letter confirming that Housing Benefit has been refused.

    I am not convinced that this is a formal tenancy- as the other tenant in the property is the claimant’s brother. HB had been paid for him, this decision has been revised as their mother was resident at the claim address until 21/3/2010.

    Thanks

    Nicola

    #88532
    Chris Robbins
    Participant

    Nicola, I suspect from your post that you are a bit short of information.
    As far as I can make out No 7 is owned by a person who was described on your claimant’s application as her step father. Presumably your claimant confirmed he lived in the property as you refused under 9(1)(b). However you go on to say that you have linked this stepfather/landlord to a different address?
    You also say the landlord is claiming benefit from the same address. Is this CTB only?
    Are there any links between the ownership of No 7 and No 10?
    Do you suspect landlord and mother are in fact still living together somewhere?
    Sounds to me as though you need to send this for investigation to establish exactly who is living where.

    #88533
    dominicana
    Participant

    Hi Chris,

    It is all confusing- the LL/Stepfather is resident at no 7 and claiming CTB in his own right. The assessor decided that claimant was not entitled as LL was step father- this does not apply as claimant’s mother and LL were not married.

    Investigations will be my next stop.

    Thanks

    Nicola

    #88534
    Chris Robbins
    Participant

    Nicola,
    Just to clarify, if the L/L and the claimant’s mother were living together, then you would refuse HB under the close relative rules. The fact that landlord and mum were not married is irrelevant. If they were deemed to be living together as a couple then the close relative rules apply. See the definition of close relative in Reg 2.

    #88535
    dominicana
    Participant

    Hi Chris,

    We are aware of this- the claimant’s claim if paid is payable from June 2010. The issue I have is that I don’t believe that this claim/ the tenancy is commercial.

    It is finding evidence to support the decision not to pay benefit under HB reg 9(1)(l)

    Nicola

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