Housing Benefit

November 29th, 2023 by James Goudie KC

In relation to entitlement to  Housing Benefit, and circumstances in which a person is or is not to be treated as occupying a dwelling as his or home, Regulation 7 of the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 provides at Regulation 7(4) that when a Housing Benefit claimant has been “ required “ to move into temporary accommodation by reason of “ essential repairs “ being carried out at the dwelling normally occupied as his or her home , and is liable to make payment in respect of either, but not both, the dwelling which he or she normally occupies as his or home OR the temporary accommodation he or she shall be treated as occupying as his home the dwelling in respect of which he or she is liable to make payments. In SH v SOUTHWARK LBC ( 2023 ) 8 WLUK 397 the Upper Tribunal clarifies that the test under Regulation 7(4) is an objective one, both as regards what constitutes essential repairs and as regards whether there has been a requirement to move into temporary accommodation. It is not a question of what the individual might regard as essential repairs or what the individual might think was sufficient to require a tenant to move out whilst such works were to be carried out. The evaluation is one that should take account of the claimant’s individual characteristics, including factors such as impairment or vulnerability due to ill health.

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