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THBS - those tenancy variations
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 280103thbs.doc
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Author: ODPM   Date: 28/Jan/2003
Organisation: ODPM
Abstract: We have been told that some authorities are issuing a “Backdating Declaration” to tenants. The intention appears to be an attempt to vary the tenancy agreement retrospectively, so that charges for support services for a past period are treated as if they formed part of, and were charged under, the tenancy agreement, with a view to securing funding for that past period through the Transitional Housing Benefit Scheme.

Our view is that a person cannot be said to have been liable to make payments in respect of charges for a past period where it is simply the case that he or she has subsequently agreed to make the payments. In plain terms, without clear evidence of any prior agreement, the tenant’s agreeing now to make payments for a past period does not of itself give rise to a liability in respect of that period for Housing Benefit purposes. The liability starts only from the date that the tenant signs the agreement.

We have advised the Audit Commission and Audit Scotland of our view.

If you have any queries, please contact Jean Waygood on 020 7962 8306, or e-mail Jean.Waygood@dwp.gsi.gov.uk