Note - The disregards described below that specify a period of 6 months may be extended where it is reasonable in the circumstances of the case.
Premises intended to be occupied
Premises that a person intends to occupy as their home shall be disregarded when calculating their capital where the person:
• has gained the premises within the last 6 months but has not yet taken up occupation
• is taking steps to obtain possession and they began those steps within the past 6 months
• is carrying out essential repairs or alterations in order to make the premises fit for occupation and these started in the last 6 month
A person is considered to have started steps to obtain possession of premises on the date that legal advice is first sought or proceedings are started, whichever is the earlier.
It may be decided to disregard the premises for a longer period if:
• legal proceeding are still being taken
• a person have got possession and there is a good reason why they have not started to live in the premises
• repairs will take longer than 6 months
It may be decided not to disregard the premises for a longer period if:
• a person asked for legal advice and not followed it
• obtained possession and there is no good reason why they have not moved into the premises
These are examples, not a complete list.
Premises no longer occupied
If a person no longer occupies premises as their home following separation from their former partner, those premises can be disregarded from the calculation of capital where they have stopped living in those premises within the past 6 months.
Premises a person is trying to dispose of
If a person is trying to dispose of premises, they can be disregarded from the calculation of capital where they are taking reasonable steps to dispose of the premises and those steps started within the last 6 months.
It may be reasonable to disregard the premises for a longer period where, for example - the person has done all they can to sell the premises and the asking price is no more than the premises are worth.
If a person stops involvement in a business within the last 6 months:
• and is taking reasonable steps to dispose of those assets, or
• because of incapacity - but has a reasonable expectation of being reengaged in that business on their recovery
Those business assets can be disregarded from the calculation of that person’s capital.
It may be reasonable to disregard for a longer period if the person is still ill or disabled and can do the work when they are fit and able.
It may not be reasonable if there is evidence, such as medical evidence, which says the person will not be able to do the work when they are fit and able.
In the event of their sale, assets may result in an income or capital receipt.
Amount to be used to purchase premises
If a person has received an amount within the past 6 months which is to be used to purchase premises that the person intends to occupy as their home, that amount can be disregarded from the calculation of the claimants’ capital where it:
• comes from the proceeds of the sale of premises formerly occupied as the person’s home
• has been deposited with a housing association as a condition of the person occupying premises as their home, or
• is a grant made to the person for the sole purpose of purchasing a home
it is reasonable to disregard the amount for a longer period if, for example:
• people have tried but not found premises which are suitable for their or a member of their family's needs (in particular, if one of them is disabled and needs a certain type of accommodation)
• the person has found premises and the
• sale has not been completed, or
• the seller later decides not to sell
Amount from an insurance policy
An amount received from an insurance policy within the past 6 months can be disregarded where it is in connection with the loss or damage to the:
• premises occupied by a person as their home
• personal possessions of that person
it is reasonable to disregard the money for a longer period if for example the:
• repairs will take more than 6 months
• replacement of personal possessions will take more than 6 months
Amount for repairs or alterations
If in the past 6 months, a person has received a sum of money by way of a loan, grant or otherwise which is to be used for making essential repairs or alterations to premises occupied or intended to be occupied as the person’s home, that amount can be disregarded from the calculation of the claimant’s capital but only where it is used for that purpose.
It is reasonable to disregard the grant, loan or otherwise for a longer period if the repairs and alterations will take more than 6 months.