Decision Maker: Lead Cabinet member for Housing
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
The purpose of this decision is to consider the waiver of local land charges which are registered against properties where a Disabled Facilities Grant has been awarded.
Since 1990, local housing authorities have been under a statutory duty to provide grant aid to disabled people for a range of adaptations to their homes. This grant aid is means tested for adults (not for children), with maximum grants of up to £30,000.
Under the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996: Disabled Facilities Grant (Conditions relating to approval or payment of Grant) General Consent 2008, the Council can place a limited charge against owner occupied properties in order to recoup costs over £5,000, with a maximum charge of £10,000. The charge is repayable upon disposal of the property (sale, assignment or transfer) within 10 years of the certified date.
The legislation states that a local authority must consider the following before it can demand repayment:
i) the extent to which the recipient of the grant would suffer financial hardship were he to be required to repay all or any of the grant;
(ii) whether the disposal of the premises is to enable the recipient of the grant to take up employment, or to change the location of his employment;
(iii) whether the disposal is made for reasons connected with the physical or mental health or well being of the recipient of the grant or of a disabled occupant of the premises; and
(iv) whether the disposal is made to enable the recipient of the grant to live with, or near, any person who is disabled or infirm and in need of care, which the recipient of the grant is intending to provide, or who is intending to provide care of which the recipient of the grant is in need by reason of disability or infirmity
is satisfied that it is reasonable in all the circumstances to require the repayment.
The Lead Cabinet Member for Housing is asked to consider whether it is appropriate to waiver the local land charge in respect of the application received.
To approve the request to waiver the local land charge of £6,959.14.
Under criteria i) and iii) set out in the legislation it was agreed that it is reasonable to waiver the local land charge in this instance to support the applicant to move to a more suitable property.
Option 1: To refuse the request to waiver the charge upon sale of the property.
Reasons for Rejection: Reasonable reasons for refusal must be given as the Council could be legally challenged for failing to do so.
Publication date: 30/07/2020
Date of decision: 27/07/2020
Effective from: 07/08/2020