LHA Refused

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    LHA Refused

    I have just had a tenant who applied for LHA refused, because she used to live in the house then got into mortgage arrears and credit debt, sold the house to me (via an estate agent) and apparently the council don't believe she has been in serious financial difficulty and would have been unable to keep the house.
    The CAB advised her that she would be eligible for LHA when she became my tenant and she will appeal against the decision .Has this happened to anyone else ?Any advice to support the appeal?

    #2
    Originally posted by jerry lee View Post
    I have just had a tenant who applied for LHA refused, because she used to live in the house then got into mortgage arrears and credit debt, sold the house to me (via an estate agent) and apparently the council don't believe she has been in serious financial difficulty and would have been unable to keep the house.
    The CAB advised her that she would be eligible for LHA when she became my tenant and she will appeal against the decision .Has this happened to anyone else ?Any advice to support the appeal?
    With certain exceptions, I believe you can not claim LHA for a property that you have owned in the last 5 years. It is shown here (see sections 7 & 10) http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/a8-2007.pdf

    I think the decision will be based on the nature of the tenants financial (ir)responibility leading to the sale of the property.

    Comment


      #3
      Unfortunately, this is one of those instances in which it would have been better to seek advice prior to submitting the HB application form. That said, all hope is lost.

      In this case, the tenant has been refused HB on the basis of Regulation 7(1)(h) [former owners]. She has not satisfied the authority that she was unable to continue residing in the property without relinquishing ownership. Nor has she proven that she was under a practical compulsion to sell the property.

      So where do you go from here? Answer: in to a dispute process.

      So what information would be suitable in order to pursue this matter?

      ADJUDICATION CIRCULARS. 'Snokerz' refers to A8/2007. A more recent circular (A5/2009) refers to 'Sale and Rent back arrangements'.

      I am not an exponent of such 'circulars' (for reasons that I can explain). However, the over-riding objective is to secure HB. As such, I am willing to sell-out (pun intended). In so doing, I suggest you read the circular(s) and make responses in order to 'tick' the right boxes so as to satisfy the requirements of the local authority.

      CASE LAW: The 'sell and rent' back issue has engendered a number of Commissioner's Decisons. Again, it is worth referring to those documents. in particular R(H) 6/07.

      GENERALLY: Engage with the local authority. Provide them with as much information and evidence so as to reconsider the case.

      WARNING: However truthfully and/or innocently the tenant has pursued her claim, she may already have provided information that has reduced her chances of success.

      With this in mind, it would be useful to obtain a statement of reasons (for the refusal of her claim). Besdies, the worst thing she could possibly do would be to provide additional information contradicting with what she has already stated!
      Michael Clayton

      Comment


        #4
        HB Refused

        Thank you both for these very helpful replies. apparently the tenant did not supply all the correspondence with the mortgage company and I am sure there is enough there to prove she was unable to stay in the house as she was unable to meet the mortgage payments and had other debts. So we will be sure and submit this correspondence next time.
        Another point, I have not yet (as landlord) been informed of this decision, if they fail to inform me can i say that there has been an error in procedure or do they not have to inform me of their decision?
        Once again thank you.
        JL

        Comment


          #5
          Thank you for the comments. I am particularly interested in the sell and rent-back area as it was the catalyst that propelled me from former local authority adjudication officer to current tenant/landlord representative.

          In terms of the case, the reality is that you are not home and dry. I fear a bit of complacency.

          When you mention "other debts", what exactly are you referring to? It is essential to establish the nature of those debts. For example, the decision to sell her house on the basis that your tenant was unable to settle a couple of credit card debts is a route to Housing Benefit (HB) failure.

          There is also the question of how the 'tenant' attempted to absolve herself of her financial difficulties. Did she look for ways of raising income? If she can evidence that she did, her case will be looked at more sympathetically.

          Contrary to what many people believe, HB assessment is not an exact science and you can significantly improve your chances by adopting the right approach.

          Putting it bluntly, your tenant has one chance to get the facts across. In reality, what affect would no HB have on those concerned? (Think of the loss of income over the course of a year).

          QUOTE "Another point, I have not yet (as landlord) been informed of this decision".

          This will depend on whether you are deemed as a person affected by the decision. You would be a person affected if the tenant had requested HB/LHA payments direct to you AND/OR you had made the same request.
          Michael Clayton

          Comment


            #6
            Alarming clanger

            Referring to #3

            I meant to say "all hope is not lost" !

            It is such an obvious mistake that I doubt anyone would have been confused but thought it better to mention it.
            Michael Clayton

            Comment


              #7
              Jerry Lee

              Michael Clayton has provided you with some useful reading material and sound advice on how best to proceed. However, I'd go a bit further and suggest in this type of situation most landlords and tenants should seek professional advice rather than try and tackle this really complex issue on their own.

              HBadvocacy
              www.hbadvice.co.uk

              Comment


                #8
                HB Refused

                Hi
                and thankyou for the PM( MC) which i could not reply to as I have not done enough posts!
                The tenant formerly the owner became a fulltime carer for her mother who died of cancer. The tenant became sick herself and is now in receipt of sickness benefit, she has been supported by the CAB and there is paper evidence of all this.
                I presume that by appealing and going to tribunal, they will look at the evidence that we submit, but are we invited to attend or does it just get decided without the tenant being there?

                Thank you for your help.
                J L

                Comment


                  #9
                  This is the private message that I sent to JL.

                  "Based on what was discussed yesterday, I wish to start out by saying that you do need to seek some professional advice. Unless you have already done so, I would strongly advise that you contact me (via private message) in order that we can discuss. You may feel that I have helped you but I am very concerned that I could be damaging your chances by suggesting ways in which you should move forwards but without explaining the various pitfalls along the way. Thanks. Michael."

                  For reasons stated, JL could not send me a private reply so (as per previous thread) put out a message on the forum. As such, I feel it necessary for those interested to know exactly what I wrote.

                  JL. If you wish to respond privately, you can find my contact details on the Topic Expert page. However, if someone else is already assisting you I do not intend to tread on their toes.
                  Michael Clayton

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Michael (Topic Expert) View Post
                    So what information would be suitable in order to pursue this matter?

                    ADJUDICATION CIRCULARS. 'Snokerz' refers to A8/2007. A more recent circular (A5/2009) refers to 'Sale and Rent back arrangements'.
                    In case anyone cannot find the link it is here

                    Originally posted by Michael (Topic Expert) View Post
                    CASE LAW: The 'sell and rent' back issue has engendered a number of Commissioner's Decisons. Again, it is worth referring to those documents. in particular R(H) 6/07.
                    Likewise, Here, page 3457
                    On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Because of the number of posts I have done, I am now a Senior Member. However, read anything I write with the above in mind.

                    Comment

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