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AirBnB and Housing Benefit

 

EKS_COTTON
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Tax and Welfare Rights Officer, Equity

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Joined: 10 March 2014

Hello comrades,

I have had an enquiry from a housing benefit claimant who wants to know if a one off sublet of her flat over xmas through AirBnB will affect her housing benefit.  Her landlord has agreed to her doing this.  She estimates it will be about 20 days.  It is a private rent.

Does anyone know how this would be treated for HB purposes?

Would this constitute income for housing benefit purposes given it is a one off? Or are there any other rules concerning AirBnb rental and HB that I am not aware of?

Any feedback/thoughts gratefully received.

In solidarity,

EKS.

     
HB Anorak
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benefits consultant/trainer, hbanorak.co.uk, east london

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Will she be there as well?

     
EKS_COTTON
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Tax and Welfare Rights Officer, Equity

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Apologies for not getting back to you before now.

No she wont.  She is planning on being away the entire time (outside of the UK/EU).

     
SamW
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Lambeth Every Pound Counts

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Hi Emma, hope you are well :)

My 2c….

In any case I think the income she gets for the sublet counts as income for HB purposes (and other means tested bens your client might get). I can’t see any way around this tbh.

If that still leaves her with some HB entitlement I think there is a question over whether the flat can be considered her ‘normal home’ for this short period. From one perspective, if the AirBnB contracts grant the hiring party exclusive use of the property for the period of the let (as you might expect) so she can’t spend time there without being in breach of the contract then it might seem that she cannot call it her home for this period. A more generous perspective would be to concentrate on the ‘normal’ part of the phrase and argue that even if it isn’t her home for that particular period it is the rest of the time and the AirBnB period is a temporary absence.