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HB as rent for RTB

Hanoman v London Borough of Southwark [2008] EWCA Civ 624

Where a local authority landlord has failed to respond to a tenant’s notice in time under the Right to Buy procedure, the tenant can serve an ‘operative notice of delay’ under s.153A(5) Housing Act 1985. The effect of this notice is that the landlord must deduct from the purchase price an amount based on the rent paid during the period of the delay (s.153B).

Does housing benefit, whether as payment, or as rebate on rent payable to local authority, count as rent for the purposes of s.153B?

Simple answer – yes. S.153B makes no prescription as to the source of rent payments and it would be ludicrous to distinguish between housing benefit as payment and housing benefit as rebate.

There is also an interesting side issue on preserving rights in a dispute over RTB terms after completion of the sale by way of collateral contract.

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.

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