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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 69773
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I rent a property that I own to my daughter who receives Housing

Customer Question

I rent a property that I own to my daughter who receives Housing Benefit which only covers part of the rent.The local council has suspended my daughters benefit asking for proof that she pays the rent shortfall ie Topup?
Submitted: 3 years ago via Tenancy Agreement Service.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

In order to give you an answer tailored to your circumstances, I will just need to ask you some preliminary questions so that I can consider your position from all angles.

How can I help with this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

FOR JOMO 1972


what further information do you require??


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I was just wondering what your question about this was?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

FOR JOMO1972


my daughter receives some housing benefit which only covers some of the rent. Her mother who is her landlord only makes her pay rent equal to the amount of housing benefit she receives. She should pay the top up out of her income but she cannot normally afford to do this.The council have suspended her housing benefit until she can provide proof that she pays the top up.


My question is can the council insist that she pays a top up and if she did have they any legal right to see evidence of this.?


It would appear that the council are discriminating against my daughter because she is related to her landlord as my understanding is that a landlord can charge a tenant what ever rent is agree with the tenant, in this instance the rent charged is exactly equal to the a amount of housing benefit my daughter receives. Can we tell the council that they are acting unlawfully/

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Does the AST that she has shown the council refer to a some which includes the top up ?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

FOR MOJO 1972


 


I am sorry but what is the AST? I also do not understand your question


" refer to a some which includes the top up" ???

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Assured shorthold tenancy agreement?

I suspect they are saying they have been shown an agreement that refers to a higher price than they are paying?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

FOR MOJO1972.


Yes the original AST showed a rent at a higher level than the housing benefit being paid and taken as rent.


However there was no mention/ reference on the AST of any top up payments.


I deal with these matters on my wife's behalf and I have assumed that the rent can be changed up or down as agreed between the landlord and the tenant throughout the life of the AST.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, thats what I suspected.

I am sorry but thats a problem.

They are saying that they have been paying her housing benefit in reliance upon the declaration that she will pay top ups and somehow they have found out that she is not doing so.

Unfortunately they are entitled to sight of evidence that the agreement is as was represented to them.

They are harder upon you because she is a relative of yours which may be unfair but they are entitled to evidence that this is a genuine agreement.

I'm very sorry.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

FOR MOJO1972


I am sorry but I do not understand. You say "reliant upon the declaration that she will pay top ups" My daughter never made a declaration that she would pay top ups. My question was can the council insist that she pays a top to the full value of the original rent on her AST.


Are we not entitled to change the rent value on a AST?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Not in the middle of an AST and not without telling the dwp so that they can reassess I'm afraid

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