Capital value of a share in a property

I have a client who is a pensioner claiming Housing Benefit. She has a 50% share in a property which is currently empty and furnished.

She lives elsewhere and claims Housing Benefit (which has now ceased).

Reading between the lines I think she may have left due to domestic abuse and the property was previosuly disregarded but is now counted as capital as her husband (who was the occupier) has now passed away.

He has left his 50% to a trust of which his son is beneficiary (currently in probate).

She has advised that she does not intend to return to live in the property and she may decide to rent it out in the future and possibly get a small mortgage to do it up.

There isn’t any intention to dispose of it however I have advised that if she takes a mortgage and rents it the capital value will be disregarded and half of the rental income (less encumbrances) used for her HB.

I cannot see that there is any disregard at this time to enable her to continue to claim HB.

She is also now liable for the council tax on the property.

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