Does a 2nd tenancy supersede the first?

by Readers Question

15:38 PM, 3rd March 2014
About 7 years ago

Does a 2nd tenancy supersede the first?

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Does a 2nd tenancy supersede the first?

Dear Readers,

I have a tenant on LHA in a 3 bed property rented for £695 since 2010

The Council sent a payment for approx £50 less stating reason as deductions for non dependent. I phoned the council and they said the son had turned 18 and left college in July hence the deductions and they will be claiming the overpayment going back to July.

I contacted the tenant and informed him of this advising that he will need to pay an extra £50 pcm. The tenant is unable to find this money, but wishes to stay in property and keep his family together. I read an article that you can put two separate claims in one for son and one for the rest of the household which consists of parents and daughter of 20 .

I spoke with tenant and asked him to contact shelter to confirm if this was indeed correct. He advises me yes it is.

I then created two tenancies (six months) one for the son on room rate at £65 per week one for the rest of the family at £525 two bed LHA rate

Tenant wrote a letter explaining the reason for the two tenancies and took them down to the council. They accepted them and told him everything looked fine.

Eight weeks later the son receives letter informing him the claim is not valid as non dependant. Council pay the other tenancy at £525 less deductions so actually receiving £441

The Council Tax department charge me a 100% council tax at 126 pcm d/d setup

I Spoke with another landlord who informs me that the tenancy needed to be in the father and sons name. Advised to leave a break of 7 days then put in a new tenancy. This was done and a new tenancy for £850 pcm was given to the council Jan 8th.

I informed  the council tax dept and they revert the council tax back to tenant at 20%. Housing benefit dept refuse to accept the new tenancy as the existing one is for six months . They will only pay the two bed rate until the six months is up.

I am being advised this is not correct as the second tenancy supersedes the first .

As the council tax as now been reverted back to the tenant I expected them to just go back to paying £600 three bed rate.

It appears now they should not have made deductions in the first place as the son was on job seekers, if this had not happened then the original tenancy would have remained the same.

Please can someone clarify what the legal standing is on the tenancies.

If I served section 21 on the first two tenancies if I went to court with this would the judge say the second tenancy is in forced?

Many thanks

KathyLHA


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Comments

Robert Mellors

23:40 PM, 3rd March 2014
About 7 years ago

With all these changes you need to beware of the possibility of the council alleging a "contrived tenancy", in which case the Housing Benefit will stop completely! I would suggest you buy a copy of the CPAG Guide to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Rebates 2013-14" and study the section on contrived tenancies, as you may be putting yourself at considerable risk.

Jeremy Smith

1:23 AM, 4th March 2014
About 7 years ago

What some people get into for an extra £50 !

...Although now you are in this situation, you do have my sympathy, being up against the illogicity of the council and their bureaucracy

Mick Roberts

7:28 AM, 4th March 2014
About 7 years ago

Ha ha, I had to laugh, not at u, but at this situation, I encountered this 5 years ago when LHA came in, fell foul of many of LHA rules.

I’ve had & done loads of situations like this, more or less exactly the same.

You can do what u describe, as a joint tenancy, BUT only with the tenants in a NEW house.
I understand exactly what u r saying. U & the family are thinking of a way to keep that family in the same house.
BUT daft HB rules quote their regs (Bill Irvine will tell u the exact reg), but they say you can’t do it in the same house, where the son was already a dependant.
If you move the family & the son, HB will let u do it in a different house, but not the existing one. Daft I know, but it’s their get out clause for paying more HB.

They say ‘Taking advantage of HB Regulations’. You are fortunate you have not had contrived tenancy as Rob says, & stopped paying claim altogether.

Yes, Council Tax can do that if u don’t get it right too. Do joint tenancy to get out the Council Tax situation.

The 7 days break is correct to get onto LHA, but won’t solve the dependant then claiming in his own right.

What I understand about tenancies as far as HB is concerned, as long as all parties agree to signing the tenancy, HB can accept the later tenancy.

I’ve now read all your post, & it appears HB are only paying the family because of the original tenancy being still in force, but I suspect it may because of my explanation above.

Ha ha, what some people do for extra £50. But over the year & ten years, can add up.


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