Can they claim housing costs
We have been approached by a client who lives in a 2 bedroom flat with her parents and sister, and her sister is doing GCSE’s
The mother is disabled, and her father is a carer for her mother, and in receipt of CA - they have been trying to get a transfer for 16 years.
Clent is currently looking into a shared ownership of a place moving with all her family.
Client earns circa £32000 a year.
Cl’s mother gets Housing benefit, Income support, Child tax credit, PIP (standard rate of both parts) and as noted CA paid to the husband.
Her mother would be on agreement with client, but not her father as he is close to 60 and this would make the mortgage for only 8 years.
Cl wants to know if parents, if they come with her to a new property, can continue to get housing benefit (she is aware it would be a move to UC housing costs element)
What do people think?
Thank you, as ever, in advance
Yes, if the new home is in the same local authority area. The only messy part would be deciding how to apportion the rent and service charges between the mother and daughter - to whom does the sister “belong” as it were. I assume she is still a dependent child and would therefore logically “belong” to the mother when it comes to divvying up the joint rent. I can see the Council perhaps being resistant to an apportionment that leans heavily in the mother’s favour because she is going to qualify for a lot more HB than the daughter will get through UC (if indeed the daughter qualifies for any UC at all on that income). She can make a case for having 2/3 covered by her HB, but the Council might start with half. But those are details that can be ironed out later - in principle the mother can continue receiving HB towards her share of the rent and service charges at the new address in the same authority area.
There are a couple of anti-abuse rules involving non-dependants and liability, but neither of them fits here:
- where current a non-dependant appears to have been placed in that role in order to prevent them being the claimant because their income and capital are too high. That won’t apply, because the daughter will not be a non-dependant in the new place
- where the claimant used to be a non-dependant of a joint tenant. The mother is the claimant, so that won’t apply and it arguably doesn’t apply after a change of address anyway
Whether the daughter qualifies for UC depends on how much the rent and service charges are but working renters are often pleasantly surprised by their UC outcome.
Many thanks for the reply
I was not clear, the client will not claim any benefits
The mother is on HB, and that is my question, if the client and mother move to a new place, taking on shared ownership, can the mother get UC for her share of the agreement
HB or UC - HB if it’s a continuing claim in the same LA area, UC if they move to another LA area. But will definitely qualify. probably find it easier to get 2/3 rather than half if it’s HB
Many thanks, i will let the client know