What Is An Example Of A Contrived Tenancy?

If you are wondering about what a contrived tenancy is and how to exemplify it, you will find the answer to your question in this article. Here, we will discuss the meaning and implication of a contrived tenancy along with relevant examples and also explore situations that may give rise to suspicion of a contrived tenancy. In the end, we will assess whether a contrived tenancy bears a significant impact on one’s benefits claims.

What Is An Example Of A Contrived Tenancy?

An example of a contrived tenancy can simply be stated as a situation in which a false tenancy is created to imply that a landlord-tenant relationship exists between two parties when it doesn’t in actuality; so that the projected tenant can claim benefits such as Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit as financial support for rental payments.

This usually happens when an individual required support through benefits for their housing expenses but cannot claim eligibility due to any of the following reasons:

  • they are responsible for their landlord’s child 
  • they have rented the property from a former partner 
  • the landlord is a close relative or a partner of a close relative

The most common example of a contrived tenancy is one in which an individual lives in the house of their former partner without any financial obligation and hence no tenancy agreement in place. 

However, the individual implies that they are living under a formal landlord-tenant arrangement with a commercial tenancy agreement in place so that they are able to qualify for financial support through Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.

It is apparent that contrived tenancies are construed with the aim to provide financial support through benefits to individuals who are in need of funds but do not qualify for government support for housing expenses.

Therefore contrived tenancies aim to project a landlord-tenant arrangement when one does not exist and an individual is unable to claim support for housing expenses.

How Are Contrived Tenancies Suspected?

In most cases, contrived tenancies are suspected when an individual’s role suddenly shifts from a partner or a former partner to a landlord and these details are updated in a claimant’s application for Housing Benefits or Universal Credit.

Other common situations that raise suspicion in favour of being a contrived tenancy include the following:

  • If the names of the tenant and the landlord are identical, it is essential to investigate whether they are related. Further questions should be asked to determine the nature of their relationship.
  • If the landlord’s address matches any of the tenant’s previous addresses, it raises the possibility of a familial or personal connection between the landlord and tenant. This situation warrants further inquiry to ascertain their relationship.
  • If the tenant’s children share the same surname as the landlord, it suggests the likelihood of the landlord being the ex-partner of the tenant. It is crucial to investigate this possibility by seeking additional information.
  • Comparing the handwriting on the tenancy agreement for both the landlord and the tenant can provide valuable insights. If the handwriting appears to be the same, it may indicate a potential connection or involvement of the landlord and tenant in preparing the agreement.

What Happens To Benefits Claims In Case Of A Contrived Tenancy?

In cases of contrived tenancy in the UK, tenants may face potential consequences related to their benefits claims. The exact impact on benefits can vary depending on the specific circumstances and the type of benefits being claimed. Here are some key considerations:

Contrived tenancy arrangements can sometimes affect a tenant’s eligibility for housing benefits, such as Housing Benefit or Universal Credit housing costs element. These benefits are typically based on the actual rent paid by the tenant. If the rent has been artificially inflated or manipulated in a contrived tenancy, it may lead to a reduction or denial of housing benefit entitlement.

If it is determined that a tenant knowingly entered into a contrived tenancy arrangement with the intention to deceive authorities and fraudulently claim benefits they are not entitled, it can lead to serious consequences. This may include the termination of benefits, potential legal action, and penalties imposed by the relevant authorities.


It is important for tenants to understand their rights and obligations, seek advice from relevant agencies such as the local council or Department for Work and Pensions, and ensure their tenancy agreements are legitimate and comply with the law to avoid any negative impact on their benefits claims.


Housing Rights

Housing benefit claimants who are treated as not liable to pay rent – Shelter England

How to challenge decisions -contrivance and non-commercial agreements for Housing Benefit and Universal Credit Housing Element | by Rachel Ingleby | Adviser online | Medium