When to say enough is enough?

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    Neil Adamson

    Claimant submits a claim declaring one job and one bank account.

    As we have looked further into this claim we have discovered in steps:-
    1) A jointly owned property in Zimbabwe
    2) A second bank account in this country
    3) Two further accounts in Zimbabwe
    4) A second job

    Added to this she then changed her story to say her husband (from whom she is separated) owned the property and she had nothing to do with it. However when statements finally arrive for the Zimbabwe account guess who is getting the rental income!

    Evidence suggesting that the husband purchased the property in his name has been supplied.

    My two questions are
    1) Although we have no evidence currently to suggest anything else is being withheld from us can you consider the claimant’s conduct thus far and draw an inference?
    2) Valuation issues aside, I am not happy to ignore the property just because the deeds are only in her husband’s name.

    Any comments would be much appreciated. :15:


    Point 1 – I think you would be on fairly weak ground since your claimant would, in effect, be having to prove a negative. This is (almost always) impossible. It really depends on what the inference will be but it sounds to me as if you are saying something along the lines of “we were not told about X, Y or Z so there is bound to be even more”

    This would, in effect, make it impossible for the claimant to obtain HB/CTB ever again. Course, if you have evidence that there is something else that is a different matter.

    It may also be worth writing to your claimant setting out the information you have and asking for express confirmation that there is nothing else. I think this would be reasonable on the LA’s part as would a refusal of benefit if no such confirmation was received.

    Point 2 – I think this really depends on property law in Zimbabwe. If, for example, beneficial interest is ALWAYS vested with the registered owner then you have no choice. If not then your claimant clearly has the beneficial interest and I agree you should treat it as your claimant’s capital.


    Although the rental income from the Zimbabwean property is being paid into a Zimbabwean account, you will have to take into account the restrictions on movement of currency from Zimbabwe to other nations.

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