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Can you claim housing benefit in the UK if you own property abroad?

A neighbour (UK National) who has lived here in Spain for a number of years is being forced to return to the UK for health reasons. They are unable to sell their property here in Spain so must return to the UK and rent, probably in the private sector. Would the fact that they own property in Spain mean that they cannot claim housing benefit in the UK? They accept that a property is an asset but it is (at least for now) an unrealisable asset, in that they are unable to sell it. My understanding is that they have "minimal" savings, I would estimate, no more than 10K This "problem" is happening more and more in Spain and probably other countries to......does anyone have any constructive advice? Thanks in anticipation.


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[b][b]This is an extract from the form: [/b][b][b][b]We need to know if you or your partner have any bank accounts, savings, investments or property in the UK or abroad. [/b][/b][/b] [/b] I don't know whether they can check abroad, though. However, if they did find out afterwards ....... Mike

Thank you Mike, I have been through the form with them but what we need to know is whether the property they own will mean they cannot claim housing benefit. Perhaps the real question might be how can they pay their UK rent with a house or flat in another country.......it isn't cash. Whilst they accept that when (eventually) their apartment sells, they will then have cash and will willingly pay their own way until the fall below the income threshold.....what do they do in the meantime. They have no other assets in the UK.....that is what they tell me.

What it is is a capital value and there is a limit of £16,000. Your own home doesn't count for benefit purposes but that isn't applicable for Housing Benefit. It is for other benefits. Mike

I should add for Pension Credit purposes, there is no capital limit but any capital other than your own home would be converted into a nominal income of 10% of the capital to assess the pension credit due. Mike

Can they rent out the property? If it unsaleable the rent might be accepted as income, rather than taking account of a nominal capital value. If they have £10,000 it only needs another £6,000 to rule them out. Mike

Many thanks to everyone, their situation is so desperate that they are returning to the UK anyway. They will just have to accept the situation as they find it.

The trouble with people like you, you want your cake and eat it GREED.

and the trouble with people like you lancashirelad is JEALOUSY. Trouble is you haven't even got the brains to get any cake, let alone eat it.