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johndeevoy

Income Support and shared 'capital' in property

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Me and my ex partner split up 2 years ago. We have kids together so remain friends. We jointly own a house but she moved out into a council house (which is bigger and nicer than the house we own) as there was absolutely no chance of me getting rehoused as a single man and I couldn't afford private rent.

 

She has been getting a lot of harrassement by DSS over the last while about the 'capital' that she has in our home. They basically want her to sell the house or they will stop her income support. Clearly, selling is not an option as I am living there and she cannot sell only her half!

 

I've looked at the legislation concerning this and it seems that the DSS are allowed to do this. There is no exception in the legislation for jointly held capital that cannot be released. Furthermore, there is also legislation that says if a person signs over or gives away their capital so that they can claim benefits then they are to be treated as still owning the capital!!

 

It seems crazy to me that the DSS can stop a single parents benefits due to having 'capital' that they cannot legally release. I mean, my ex cannot force sale of the property if I refuse so how can she comply with the DSS request to sell?

 

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. Thanks.

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When your ex partner made a claim to Income Support she would have been given a twenty six weeks disregard

on the property#

 

This means the value of her share in the property that you are living in would not effect her claim,

 

during this time they would expect her to take steps to sell the property or get you to release her share in the property

 

after this they will write to her again and ask what steps she is taking to sell the property and will want to see proof of this eg estate agent leaflet etc

if they think she is taking reasonable steps to sell the property they will usually give another twenty six weeks.

 

You are right if she gives you the share of the property then they will assume notional capital

 

dont know if there is any way out of this for you because if its not resloved they can make a decision to treat it as capital and this in effect could close her claim if her value is over sixteen thousand pounds

could you rent privately it must be an awful situation for you to be in

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What they usually like to see is, the person still residing ( you ), buying out the person who has left ( your ex ). That then releases her capital in the property, which she is then supposed to "live on" , if its over a certain amount.

We all know that this doesnt happen that often, but they have guidelines.

Because it was a joint mortgage, then she would have had equal rights to the price of your house had it been sold.


Please note that although my advice is offered, you should consult your legal representative before taking ANY action.

 

 

have a nice day !!

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The value of a property that you or your partner are trying to sell are disregarded for 26 weeks if it can be shown that you are taking reasonable steps to sell it.

 

 

 

"Reasonable steps" are said to include-

  • advertising the property for sale
  • engaging an estate agent or solicitor to market the property
  • take legal action to force the sale of the premises when the other legal owners do not want to sell

The value of the premises may be disregarded for longer than 26 weeks if the property has not been sold. The period will start from when you first advertised the property or contacted an estate agent or solicitor.

The value of a house or flat is disregarded indefinitely if it is occupied by your partner or relative if they are aged over 60 or are incapacitated or if they are occupied by your former partner who is not estranged, divorced or out of a civil partnership.

 

are you on IB DLA or over 60

Edited by MIKEY DABODEE

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I know all about the 26 weeks folks. She moved out over a year ago. I cannot afford to buy her half, I am working but paying the full mortgage and child support is killing me as it is, never mind trying to find 35K to buy her half of the house.

 

Im going to write to my MP cos this piece of legislation is a joke. I understand why its there, so people don't build property empires while claiming they have no 'capital' and claiming benefits, but it beggers believe that a single mum cannot claim benefits due to being on a joint mortgage and even if she signs over the mortgage to me, according to the legislation she can still be treated as having 'capital'. Absolute and utter joke.

 

Thanks for your comments people.

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The Decision Makers Guide notes that "a claimant and former partner who are separated are not necessarily estranged."

 

What is the difference between separated and estranged then?

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Couples who are separated, divorced or whose civil partnership has been dissolved

People who are married or civil partners and have separated are the beneficial owners of capital if they were the owners before the breakdown of the marriage or civil partnership. That capital is included when working out what capital a person has.

 

29267 After they have separated, divorced or dissolved their civil partnership a couple may

  • 1. ask a Court to or
    2. on the advice of their solicitors or
    3. themselves

decide which one of them gets the capital. The proceedings in Court are called ancillary proceedings.

 

A Court will take into account

  • 1. the ages of the couple
    2. their state of health
    3. whether they are able to work and if so what earnings they can get
    4. how long they have been married or in a civil partnership or, in Scotland, how long each party has been economically dependent on the other
    5. each person's needs
    6. what one of them is able to give to the other

before issuing an order which will say what capital each of them get A Court may decide that the house in which they used to live

  • 1. cannot be sold until a future date if children of the marriage or civil partnership are still living in it or
     
    2. can be given to the one who the children are living with and the other one gets
    • 2.1 money immediately or in the future or
      2.2 no money.

People will be the beneficial owners of any capital the Court awards them outright1.

 

If the couple do not go to Court and share up the capital

  • 1. in the way their solicitors say or
    2. between themselves

a person will be the beneficial owner of the capital the person is left with. If 2. applies and there is clear evidence that capital has been given away so the person can get benefit or more benefit the DM should decide whether the person has notional capital.

 

A person may seek an order for financial provision and property adjustment which occurs1

  • 1. on the granting of a decree of
    • 1.1 a divorce or dissolution of civil partnership or
      1.2 nullity of marriage or civil partnership or
      1.3 separation or

    2. at any time after any of the events in 1..

1 Matrimonial Causes Act 19732927

A person does not have a beneficial interest in any capital they are seeking unless and until a property adjustment order is made1.

1 R(IS) 1/03

29274 - 29275

Top of page

 

income support however is a means tested benefit

Edited by MIKEY DABODEE

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Me and my ex partner split up 2 years ago. We have kids together so remain friends. We jointly own a house but she moved out into a council house (which is bigger and nicer than the house we own) as there was absolutely no chance of me getting rehoused as a single man and I couldn't afford private rent.

 

She has been getting a lot of harrassement by DSS over the last while about the 'capital' that she has in our home. They basically want her to sell the house or they will stop her income support. Clearly, selling is not an option as I am living there and she cannot sell only her half!

 

I've looked at the legislation concerning this and it seems that the DSS are allowed to do this. There is no exception in the legislation for jointly held capital that cannot be released. Furthermore, there is also legislation that says if a person signs over or gives away their capital so that they can claim benefits then they are to be treated as still owning the capital!!

 

It seems crazy to me that the DSS can stop a single parents benefits due to having 'capital' that they cannot legally release. I mean, my ex cannot force sale of the property if I refuse so how can she comply with the DSS request to sell?

 

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. Thanks.

Hi, i am in the same situation as your ex. I have put in a claim for Job Seekers Allowance and Rent and Council Tax Allowance. 5 weeks down the line I am still waiting a decision. i was unaware of the rules and don,t know what to expect now I have read your post. Have you found anything else about this situation?

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Couples who are separated, divorced or whose civil partnership has been dissolved

People who are married or civil partners and have separated are the beneficial owners of capital if they were the owners before the breakdown of the marriage or civil partnership. That capital is included when working out what capital a person has.

 

 

29267 After they have separated, divorced or dissolved their civil partnership a couple may

  • 1. ask a Court to or
    2. on the advice of their solicitors or
    3. themselves

decide which one of them gets the capital. The proceedings in Court are called ancillary proceedings.

 

 

A Court will take into account

  • 1. the ages of the couple
    2. their state of health
    3. whether they are able to work and if so what earnings they can get
    4. how long they have been married or in a civil partnership or, in Scotland, how long each party has been economically dependent on the other
    5. each person's needs
    6. what one of them is able to give to the other

before issuing an order which will say what capital each of them get A Court may decide that the house in which they used to live

  • 1. cannot be sold until a future date if children of the marriage or civil partnership are still living in it or
     
     
    2. can be given to the one who the children are living with and the other one gets
    • 2.1 money immediately or in the future or
      2.2 no money.

People will be the beneficial owners of any capital the Court awards them outright1.

 

 

 

If the couple do not go to Court and share up the capital

  • 1. in the way their solicitors say or
    2. between themselves

a person will be the beneficial owner of the capital the person is left with. If 2. applies and there is clear evidence that capital has been given away so the person can get benefit or more benefit the DM should decide whether the person has notional capital.

 

 

A person may seek an order for financial provision and property adjustment which occurs1

  • 1. on the granting of a decree of
    • 1.1 a divorce or dissolution of civil partnership or
      1.2 nullity of marriage or civil partnership or
      1.3 separation or

    2. at any time after any of the events in 1..

1 Matrimonial Causes Act 19732927

 

A person does not have a beneficial interest in any capital they are seeking unless and until a property adjustment order is made1.

1 R(IS) 1/03

29274 - 29275

Top of page

 

income support however is a means tested benefit

Hi, I am in the midst of claiming job seekers and rent allowance. I filled in a form concerning jointly owned house lived in by my ex whom I left a year ago. I said that as our 14 year old daughter will spend out of term time with him at the house I was not thinking of forcing a sale until my daughter is 18. How will affect my claim. I am already in arrears with rent as the claim has already taken 6 weeks. I am really worried. Can you advice what I should do now.

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Hi there , this happened to friends of mine.

How much capital is there in the house?

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Hi there , this happened to friends of mine.

How much capital is there in the house?

I am not sure but it is probably worth 175,000 with mortgage of about 50,000 remaining and debts of about 10,000. it is an ex council property where my ex partner lived before I moved in and an end terrace in a holiday location. 300 hundred miles from where i am now. My ex lived there with his father before I moved in and his father went into sheltered accomodation. It was hughly discounted when we bought it because my ex and his father had lived there so long. my does not want to sell.

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Elisabeth, from what I know there is a section in the legislation that gives a DM discretion whether or not to allow benefits if the person is otherwise not entitled but to refuse them benefit would result in 'severe hardship'.

 

It really is a joke that there is no specific carve-out in the legislation for situations where a person cannot release the 'capital' in the property. It is hardly capital in the true sense of the word if it cannot be released.

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I know this is a bit off track, but can anyone help?...a person on income support and getting housing/council tax benefit, then an adult working son moves back home, i know that the housing/council tax benefit is reduced accordingly but is the income support payment also affected?

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is this person

a, getting help with their mortgage on their property through Income Support, is IS paying the interest on it

 

B, getting DLA care at the middle rate, and by doing so getting severe disability premium included in their I.S, because they live alone.

 

if you answered yes to any of the above, then yes, somebody moving in could effect their IS claim money wise

 

if the son does move in then they will just have to ring I.S. who will reassess their claim accordingly if needs be

Edited by Jack Daniels

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the person is getting IS and is a council tenant on housing benefit and council tax benefit, its known that these 2 benefits will reduce in accordance with the sons earnings and his contribution to the rent etc which is fine and right, but does the mother who at present lives alone and is on IS lose any of her income support as there would be a "worker" living in the home also? she is on basic income support only.

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No. While her son is indeed expected to help with the rent/mortgage, he isn't expected to support her. So her basic rate of IS should not change.


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