With LHA, benefit is not based on the actual property the tenant rents, but the area they live in, the number of rooms they need, who lives with the tenant and what income and savings they have.
The way Housing Benefit is calculated has not changed, it will still be based on income and savings so we still need proof of rent, income and savings.
The LHA Rates will be published every month. You can check the rates by contacting us by telephone, in person at any local office or by viewing our page entitled Local Housing Allowance Rates.
The only change is that payment of benefit worked out using LHA rates will normally be made direct to the tenant.
LHA affects any landlord who enters into a de-regulated private tenancy agreement with a person awarded Housing Benefit after 7 April 2008.
By de-regulated we mean a tenancy that has been entered into since 1989 and is not covered by one of the exceptions below:
LHA does not affect
No. If you receive housing benefit payments direct on behalf of your tenant(s) on 07 April 2008, these will continue to be paid to you.
The LHA only affects tenants who make a new claim, move address, or have a break in claim on or after 07 April 2008.
Tenants should be able to take greater responsibility for managing their financial affairs and paying their rent direct to their landlords in the same way other tenants do.
In the past, there has never been a right for a landlord to receive housing benefit payments direct. However, there is a right for tenants to ask for this arrangement, and this is the right that is changing.
Tenants can no longer ask for their benefit to be paid to their landlord, but if they feel they may have difficulty in managing their own affairs and may be entitled to direct payment to their landlord, we can consider this request.
There are a range of safeguards in place to protect the interests of the landlord. Payment may be made direct to the landlord where
This request can be made by the tenant, landlord or other interested party in writing.
The Local Authority will decide whether a tenant is likely to have difficult in paying their rent. You as a landlord can approach us if you think it is likely that your tenant will have difficulty in paying, or you feel they cannot deal with their financial affairs.
It is up to us to decide whether a tenant is unlikely to pay their rent. We can only do this if we have evidence of past, or likely failure to pay rent. We will take into account all knowledge and evidence available to us at the time, including any known past history when making our decision.
It will also be important for the landlord to keep proper and adequate records of rent payments received and details of any contact made with the tenant.
Where we consider there is no prospect of the tenant's situation changing, payment of benefit to the landlord is likely to be long-term.
In cases where the situation is likely to be temporary, or where rent arrears of more than 8 weeks have been repaid, the situation will be reviewed.
No. A Local Authority is not party to the tenancy agreement between a landlord and a tenant, so it is not bound by any conditions in a tenancy agreement.
Appeal rights are not changing as a result of the new scheme. You will still have the right to appeal against a decision by the authority not to make direct payments.
You cannot appeal against the LHA rate set by the Registration Officer.
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 450000