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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70197
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My rich friend is going to give me the money to buy my council

Customer Question

My rich friend is going to give me the money to buy my council flat. Will my ownership of the flat effect any benefits I receive as a low income earner? I am 62 years old.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Which benefits do you currently claim please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Housing benefit
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you.

Is there equity in the flat
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
If you mean "Will my friend want some sort of share in the ownership of the flat" , the answer is no.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
If you mean "Will my friend want some sort of share in the ownership of the flat" , the answer is no.
Edit
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you.

I am very sorry that this is going to have an impact upon your benefits if they are means tested.

If there is equity in the property that you own then that is something that will be considered when your benefits claim is assessed.

Obviously some benefits are not means tested but you seem to be describing ones that are. If so, any equity at all will have a fairly fatal affect upon your claim.

Property ownership alone can also impact upon a claim for means tested benefits. It doesn't necessarily mean that you would lose them but it is something that the DWP would consider and, as you probably know, these days there is an agenda to reduce benefit payments more than there has been for many decades.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
So, would it be better if my rich friend just gave me some money, or set up an annuity for me?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Well, it wouldn't make any difference either way.

You would have to declare both and it would have an impact on your benefits.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you, Jo.
How can my generous friend make my life easier financially then?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I am sorry but there isn't a way around this.

If you are in reciept of any form of financial advancement the DWP are entitled to know about it.

It used to be possible to set up a trust but they closed that loophole some time ago.
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Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

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