From April 2013 LHA will be reviewed annually alongside other benefits being assessed (instead of on a specific ‘anniversary’ date). Another change includes the opportunity for claimants to ask for a review should their rent increase or decrease.
A change in rent can be reported on the Change in Circumstances form.
The LHA is based on the rent levels for the area as decided by the Rent Officer and how many people there are living in the household (size criteria), not the actual rent charged for the property. It is intended to give tenants choice between the quality and the price of their accommodation.
If the actual rent charged is greater than the LHA, the tenant will have to pay the difference to the landlord.
In most cases payment of the LHA will be made direct to the tenant and it will be the tenants responsibility to pay the rent to the landlord. We recognise that some people may struggle with this responsibility and help will be available if required.
Local Housing Allowance - Who's not affected?
Local Housing Allowance does not affect all tenancies.
You will not be affected by the changes if:
- The accommodation is rented from the Council
- The accommodation is rented from a housing association
- The tenancy is excluded from current rent restrictions
- the tenancy includes the provision of care, support or supervision and is provided by local authorities, social landlords, charities or voluntary organisations
- The tenancy includes substantial board and attendance, such as hotel accommodation
- The accommodation is a caravan, mobile home or houseboat
More information is available on the Department for Work and Pension's website (External link).
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