Temporary accommodation, new HB claim
Help please, my client is in B& B type accommodation, was in a private tenancy for 15 years , landlord died, new landlord moved cl out to do ‘repairs’ then a issues a section 21 order was issued , expires in November, as no rent was being charged while repairs were being done HB stopped, in June 2021.my client never claimed HB for the B&B costs, landlord will not let cl back into her old house so she is still in temporary accommodation. I want to keep her on legacy benefits if possible ESA PIP, she is better of on these. Can I get her back on HB ??? The Council housing options service are not being very helpful, I know the tenancy issue sounds very dodgy but priority at present is getting her HB paid for her B&B and getting Council to re-home her
I started writing a response this morning, but there are so many questions and variables that I had to stop. I think the bottom line is that this case appears to require specialist housing and homelessness and benefits information, so she would be well advised to approach Shelter (or equivalent) for Legal Help. There are issues around the tenancy and whether valid s21 notice has been given (and illegal eviction?). There are issues around the local authority’s Part 7 prevention duty. There are probably fewer issues around the HB, although the other issues may have a knock-on effect (e.g. if the local authority is willing to provide TA then it might provide it in the current B&B - at which point your client could claim HB again).
Thanks Timothy, yes its a nightmare one, I agree, i am really looking ta the HB issue mainly to keep her off UC if poss, Main problem is she has been just moving around from one B&B to another paying from her benefits so HB has decide the claim has ceased. While she has a roof over her head its going to be hard to get the LA to place her in another B&B at their expense. I have referred her to housing sols or advice on the tenancy issue.
There might be an argument about whether she actually ceased to occupy the property as her main or only home (and the B&B occupation is something like a road trip). But that’s not going to get HB paid on the B&Bs;.
I would be looking at getting the LA to accept a homelessness application - it’s not actually going to be “at their expense” if the B&B is paid by HB. And then when she moves on from the B&B she can carry on with HB.
If they’re not accepting she’s homeless yet because of the s21 then they probably ought to be doing something about the illegal eviction (although of course if it’s illegal eviction then she’s still homeless and owed a s188 duty until they do something about it). And if they are suggesting she’s not homeless because she is already in a B&B then you might want to look at affordability and whether it’s reasonable for her to continue to occupy such accommodation in the longer term.
This is all stuff that a housing specialist ought to be able to explain to the LA, and possibly help to do something about.
Thanks Timothy, again. yes it looks like an LA placement to get HB back is the only way. I have given her referral to housing sols as the tenancy stuff is beyond my remit.
i realized that my client was temporary absent from her temporary accommodation so have asked for HB to be reinstated on grounds of temporary absence rules, awaiting LA response