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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I am a british citizen who previously worked and owns property

Customer Question

I am a british citizen who previously worked and owns property in the Turks and Caicos. I moved here December 2 and am letting an apartment with a 6 month lease. Im currently unemployed and have recently had a successful job interview with SCAS as a 111 call handler, but am waiting to begin training. I am also a full time student at Buckingham University and a mother with two minor children who live with me and are also in full time education here.
I wrote in for a council tax reduction on the grounds as a student and to see if I could secure any housing benefits until I begin working and am able to support myself.
I received a reply back from the council in the negative, reasons stated, that I gave up my employment in the TCI and still own property there so they do not consider me to habitually reside here in the UK.
Its true I did resign and I do own property there, but I gave that up to start over here and I don't intend on going back to live there. I am not moving my daughters again.
I suppose my question is, what qualifies me to be a resident and are there any legal principles against getting benefits if you own property abroad?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

Sadly they are correct.

Alex Watts :

If you did have property, have given it up as well as employment then you did not need to

Alex Watts :

But what you can do is thi.s

Alex Watts :

There is an option for an appeal.

Alex Watts :

You can therefore appeal the decision but you have a limited time to do this.

Alex Watts :

The matter will go before an independent Tribunal who will decide whether you are entitled to it.

Alex Watts :

They may take a different view

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

JACUSTOMER-uxc0p5bo- :

yes mam, the property which I still own is not an income earning property as its mortgaged to scotia bank and absorbs nearly all the rental income leaving only 350 pounds. I am also a mother of two young girls (8 and 11) and they are in full time education here with me as well. It was my understanding that as a student I would not be eligible to pay council tax. They charged me over 432 pounds of which they are insisting that I pay 231 immediately to avoid court action. The truth is I only have 260 pounds in my account. The 350 pounds that I get from rental income is on a trust account at my old employers to pay rents here in the UK for my apartment come June 1st when my 6 month lease is up which I paid in full. I am saving the 350 to go towards the 895 pounds needed for rent. I just don't see why she had a problem in assisting me until I get on my feet. Ive actually never claimed for any sort of benefits in my life. Ive always worked since age 9 to have some sort of independence. I was always entitled to live and work in the UK as a BOTC by birth and a British citizen since 2009. The economy back home isn't doing that great and I had no prospects of continuing private education for my girls into secondary level because I couldn't afford it. I moved here for a better life and opportunity for them and myself. What points would you give me in appeals process?

Alex Watts :

Indeed. But the Council may take the view you voluntary gave up a life you had and did not need to come and obtain the discount.

Alex Watts :

From what you have said to me, it could well be the Tribunal take a different view.

Alex Watts :

Your strongest points are the ones you have made above

Alex Watts :

- It is not income earning

Alex Watts :

- you wanted a better life

Alex Watts :

- you wanted to continue education

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you rate my answer before you leave today.


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