Tribunal decision

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    K Sylvester


    Have a case were the customer was and is renting from her mother (happy it is commercial etc). We later found that she had sold her previous property and had failed to tell us that she had receivied 87K. By the time we found out her capital was below 16K. We asked for bank statements and explanations of where the money had gone.

    62k was accounted for paying debts and other acceptable purchases. However there was 25k unaccounted for. When questioned about this she said that this had been paid to her mother as an investment in the property she was renting. A deed agreement was subsequently drawn up a year after the withdrawal. We made the decision that she still had the 25k and applied diminishing notional capital, which eventually brought her back into entitlement six months later. This she appealled.

    The judge allowed the appeal and said that the capital was intended to purchase a property and as such should be disregarded and when the money changed hands the investment had taken place and the capital should be disregarded as it was invested in the customers home. 

    Now the problem………………….She received the 87k on 1/4/10, she invests the money 1/8/10 and her capital excluding the 25k remains above 16k until 1/9/10. The judge has put on the decision notice that the customer is entitled to HB and CTB from 1/4/10. I have paid HB/CTB from 1/9/10 as the residual capital is still in excess of 16k until then. I have now received a letter threatening legal action if I do not honour the decision within the next 7 days.

    If I honour the judgement she will receive over 6k in HB when she clearly had in excess of 16k. I am also at a loss on how to disregard this capital and under what reason.

    Sorry for the ramblings but I actually think I'm turning into a mad women – Thank you in advance of any help.





    If you have not yet asked for a statement of reasons do so now. If you are too late to get an appeal in you are probably knackered and stuck with what could be a dodgy decision.

    I think you have to make the awarding decision but see nothing to prevent you from suspending pending receipt of a SoR / decision on any appeal.

    It may be worth looking at the commerciality again if you get a chance. If your claimant has a £25K interest in the property I would expect to see a rent below market value in rough proportion to the £25K against the sale value of the property.

    As a fall-back position have you had a look at the land reg? If her name appears on that as a joint owner you may have to rethink everything.

    K Sylvester

    Hi, I’ve had the statement of reasons and it’s as clear as mud! No legal direction other than on the 25k.

    She isn’t on the land registry and has a deed of trust with the mother, which was rustled together when we asked where the 25k had gone. She allegedly agreed to invest 25k until her mother sells and will receive no interest or equity when it is sold (superb investment).

    My legal team seem to think I can go back to the tribunal for legal direction e.g. ask them under what powers can I disregard the capital. Is this right?


    I don’t think you can ask for a direction in those terms but do suspect that there are grounds for a succesful appeal. If she has no equity in the property I cannot see how she has purchased it (or a share in it) more importantly I think she would have difficulty in demonstrating intent on the £25K let alone the rest of it. Did TTS investigate the apparrant delay in the production of the trust document? If not I suspect that this may be a failrue to exercise the inquisitorial function and be a further ground for challenge


    Suspension depends on whether the statement of reasons was applied for within time or once the statement of reasons has been obtained, the making of the appeal. If either of those were outwith the one month period then the tribunal decision cannot be suspended. See Schedule 7, paragraph 13 of the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000.


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