LHA - Councils illegal practice of not recalculating after rent increase!

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When my tenants rent was up for review, my tenants rent was about £40 below the LHA rate that they were allowed [for that property & for that tenant’s circumstance].

The tenant had already been served with a section13 rent increase, and their rent was going up about 5 days after the review.

My tenant was only awarded the amount that their current rent was – and this will not now be looked at for another year!

The reason for this is that HB will never relook at a claim unless;
1. It is the 12 month anniversary of the claim
2. Or if circumstances relevant to the tenant’s entitlement [such as someone moves in or out of the house…]

The mistake that the local authorities / rent officers are making is that they should really award a tenant the full amount they are entitled, but obviously HB will not actually pay more than the tenant is being charged for rent.

Therefore when a rent increase does go into effect, the housing benefit will be allowed to increase up-to the amount that the LHA was at the time of the review.

If this is not done, and they continue only awarding a maximum depending what the actual rent is, then it is now clear that rent is also one of the major circumstances relevant to the tenant’s entitlement – and therefore if the rent changes, it must surely therefore legally also be a reason that they must recalculate?!

Has anyone got any thoughts on this, or advice how I can clarify exactly what the law really is and perhaps appeal - besides to the council, as they won’t listen [and probably not even understand] as excluding the rent increase from both the award and also from being a reason to recalculate is certainly incorrect!

Many thanks.

14/05/2010 00:00

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