Law Report: Student Should Not Be Left out of Apportionment of Rent for Benefit Purposes ; 25 July 2002 Regina (on the Application of Naghshbandi) V Camden London Borough Council and Another ( EWCA Civ 1038) Court of Appeal, Civil Division (Lord Justice Schiemann, Lord Justice Laws and Mr Justice Jackson) 19 July 2002
Kate O'Hanlon, Barrister, The Independent (London, England)
WHEN APPORTIONING rent among those people liable for payment of rent on a property pursuant to regulation 10(5) of the Housing Benefits (General) Regulations 1987 for the purposes of determining whether housing benefit might be payable, a full time student should not be excluded from the apportionment.
The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal of Simin Naghshbandi against a decision that Camden London Borough Council had correctly apportioned the rent payable on his property for the purposes of assessing his entitlement to housing benefit.
The claimant was jointly liable with his wife, mother-in-law, son and daughter for the rent on the property in which they all lived. The claimant claimed housing benefit, which was assessed by the local authority on the basis that each of the father, mother, mother- in-law, son and daughter was liable for one-fifth of the rent.
The claimant applied for judicial review of that decision, contending that his son, as a full-time student, should have been excluded from the calculation.
For the purposes of determining whether housing benefit was payable, regulation 10(5) of the Housing Benefits (General) Regulations 1987 provided that where more than one person was liable to make payments in respect of a dwelling, the payments "should be apportioned for the purpose of calculating the eligible rent for each such person".
It was common ground that the claimant's son, as a full-time student, was not entitled to claim housing benefit by virtue of regulation 48A of the Regulations, which provided that in apportioning rent for which housing benefit might be payable, a full- time student should "be treated as if he were not liable to make payments in respect of a dwelling".
The claimant argued that the deeming provision in regulation 48A was, on the face of it, of general application and applied to any part of the Regulations where his liability to make payment was relevant, and that he was, therefore, not "such [a] person" for the purposes of regulation 10(5). …