Unlawful tenancies – non commercial?

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    We have a number of claimants living in caravans on a site which has planning permission only for travelling showmen. Over the years the number of vans has mushroomed and the majority of residents are either travelling gypsies or migrant workers. The number of HB claims has grown in proportion. I had my doubts about the genuineness of the liabilities to start with (seemed like a good way to get money to me) but now our planning department have served enforcement notices on them all and given them 6 months to vacate. Do you think I could successfully argue that these are not commercial tenancies as per Reg 9 as they cannot be enforced?
    There seems to be a conflict between what is eligible and what is treated as liable.

    Kevin D

    There is a danger of different issues being muddled. As I see it, there are 3 basic issues:

    1) liability – is it enforceable? (Irrespective of planning permission).

    2) if there is liability, is it on a commercial basis?

    3) there is no appropriate planning permission for residential dwellings / caravans on the site.

    The difficulty is that the issue of planning permission does not necessarily make the liability unenforceable. Even if the landlord is in breach of planning permission, he will still (normally) be able to create an enforceable agreement with a tenant on the site. Therefore, my view is that there is actual liability and it is enforceable.

    As for non-commercial, I’d be more than confident if I was to represent the clmt.

    Planning issues will rarely affect HB in these circumstances. There is a CD or two where this was touched on (can’t locate it for now).

    Hope this helps.

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