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Housing benefit claim refused

(23 Posts)
Yorkshirebornandbread Sat 13-Jan-18 22:31:33

Hi just wondering if anyone knows any grounds to appeal against Regulation 9(1) of the HB Regs 2006. I rent a property to my daughter and son-in-law so it is classed as not on a commercial basis. They are on a low income as he is self employed and she can't work due to mental health issues so would struggle to pay rent regularly.

Any advice/experience greatly appreciated thank you.

GreenTulips Sat 13-Jan-18 22:34:58

england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/housing_benefit/housing_benefit_renting_from_family

You have to change it to commercial - do the paperwork and tick the boxes

Mc180768 Sun 14-Jan-18 10:43:10

As long as it is a commercial arrangement rather than a benefit in kind for both parties, they should be able to challenge the housing benefit decision which needs to be completed within a month.

You will have to have a tenancy agreement and basically treat them as tenants rather than family.

Yorkshirebornandbread Sun 14-Jan-18 14:13:06

Thank you both for your relies, I appreciate you taking the time to help me. I have a horrible feeling that we won't meet the criteria as I don't think I could evict them for not paying the rent, they haven't paid a bond, so won't be seen as a commercial arrangement. Obviously if the had HB they would be able to afford it ... a vicious circle.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Sun 14-Jan-18 14:52:56

Sadly, it's was a really abused issue, so the regulations are tight.

You'd have to either make it a fully commercial agreement - around here that means having let it previously, evicting for non payment of rent and having a deposit and safety checks etc as you would for non-related tenants, all protected as normal - but it may be different for different councils.

Or it's a non-commercial agreement; in which case there is no legal liability for rent, and no entitlement to housing benefit. You cannot appeal against that; without making it a commercial agreement.

Are they getting everything else they are entitled to? Could they pay you something out of that, if you can afford it?

Mc180768 Sun 14-Jan-18 15:38:46

Anchor is correct, OP.

Most housing benefit forms ask if a landlord is a relative.

smashbake Sun 14-Jan-18 16:41:21

It's understandably frustrating for genuine situations, but the potential for abuse of HB by related tenants is very high. Can you not reduce the rent?

Yorkshirebornandbread Mon 15-Jan-18 22:20:44

Thank you for your further messages - I'll double check with Citizens Advice but am fairly sure we don't meet the criteria.

PersianCatLady Tue 16-Jan-18 14:42:30

As long as you rent it them on a commercial basis and the rent is at LHA level for the area that it is in then you they should have no problem in getting LHA.

HonkyWonkWoman Tue 16-Jan-18 21:34:02

Citizens Advice should be able to help.
If they rented before they applied for HB can they show that they paid you rent, by a Rent Book or showing payments on Bank Statements. You need to prove that you are renting to them as you would for any other person.

PersianCatLady Tue 16-Jan-18 21:58:35

If they rented before they applied for HB can they show that they paid you rent, by a Rent Book or showing payments on Bank Statements
Although this would be good to show that the tenancy is not contrived, it is not necessary.

As long as the tenancy is not contrived, LHA should not be a problem.

Nottalotta Tue 16-Jan-18 22:00:43

Did you buy the property specifically to rent to them? Is it at a market rent? Do you have other properties that you rent out?

PersianCatLady Tue 16-Jan-18 22:01:43

Here is the official Government briefing on the issue -
researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN03078/SN03078.pdf

PersianCatLady Tue 16-Jan-18 22:03:46

Did you buy the property specifically to rent to them? Is it at a market rent? Do you have other properties that you rent out?
All of these points are irrelevant.

The OP could have bought a property to rent to them, charge extortionate rent and have no other properties and her DD could still be entitled to LHA.

Nottalotta Tue 16-Jan-18 22:12:26

Persiancatlady - these are all questions asked by the housing benefit assessors at the local authority I work for. I help people into private rented properties a lot, and have to make sure theyou are eligible for assistance with their rent. Of course HB do get it wrong all the bloody time . But if the OP asneered no, yes, yes to these questions then our assessors would be happy.

Yorkshirebornandbread Tue 16-Jan-18 22:58:00

It seems like a minefield! I bought the property with the intention of renting it to my DD. They had previously received HB when renting from another private landlord, though a different Council so I was surprised when this claim was rejected.

PersianCatLady Tue 16-Jan-18 23:02:22

NottaLotta
I know that a lot of LAs use the questions you posted to determine eligibility but it doesn't matter what the answers are as long as there is a commercial tenancy which was not contrived to benefit from LHA

When I was in the advice centre we had (I think 7) cases like this, hardly any accommodation where I live and a lot of older people in a position to buy homes for their children to live in.

All of them were granted LHA in the end but a couple were a bloody battle

PersianCatLady Tue 16-Jan-18 23:04:07

OP - Please read the document I posted.

I presume you have a AST for the property?

If you take a deposit and protect it then that also shows commercial basis.

HonkyWonkWoman Wed 17-Jan-18 08:27:32

You can take it to appeal if the LA reject your daughters HB claim. Well to be fair I think your daughter will have to appeal as it is her claim being rejected.

Can you show that the house is in your name? You may have to go with her to the appeal to show any proofs of your ownership. Mortgage payments erc.
Also, make sure that she has a proper Tenancy Agreement and get her to take that with her. Good luck with it!

HonkyWonkWoman Wed 17-Jan-18 08:30:24

Oh most important! Can you prove that you own or definitely live at a separate address. This is one of the main criteria. Take any proof of that to appeal as well. Council tax bill, etc.

Yorkshirebornandbread Wed 17-Jan-18 18:52:00

Hi Persian - would be good to pick your brains a bit more if possible. Could I email, give you my mobile number? Many thanks.

Yorkshirebornandbread Sat 20-Jan-18 21:14:00

Thank you all for your advice. I need to cobble something together tonight as today is the deadline so at least something has gone in to them.

PersianCatLady Tue 23-Jan-18 22:13:12

Hi Persian - would be good to pick your brains a bit more if possible. Could I email, give you my mobile number? Many thanks
I am sorry I missed your message, please PM me if you still want help!!

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