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HOUSING BENEFIT IS INAPPROPRIATE WHEN YOU ARE LIVING WITH YOUR FATHER

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A Rochdale woman who was refused housing benefit because she was living in a house owned by her property landlord f...
A Rochdale woman who was refused housing benefit because she was living in a house owned by her property landlord father today had her complaints dismissed by a high court judge.

Angela Kershaw, who says she moved into one of her father Ivan's properties to escape harassment on the former estate where she lived, claimed the denial of benefit amounted to a violation of her human rights.

Her father is in the business of buying and letting property and she insisted the arrangement with him was on an arm's length basis.

She moved into the Kirkholt property, in December 2000, although her counsel, Lorna Findlay, said she was 'not on good terms' with her father and she was required to pay rent of£65-a-week.

Ms Kershaw applied for housing benefit from Rochdale MBC in January last year but her claim, although at first allowed, was later turned down on the basis that the arrangement with her father was not fully commercial.

She subsequently appealed to the Housing Benefit Review Board, but her case was rejected in June last year.

It was that decision she challenged under the Human Rights Act, with Miss Findlay claiming the Review Board was not an 'independent and impartial tribunal' as it was 'composed of councillors of the same authority which took the decision appealed against'.

But Mr justice Roderick Evans rejected claims that the Review Board's decision may have been 'infected' by impartiality.

'It was a reasonable and proper conclusion that this was not a commercial transaction,' he told the court, dismissing Ms Kershaw's judicial review challenge.

STRAND NEWS SERVICE

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