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Local Housing Allowance FAQ

Local Housing Allowance

Q: Are the rates of LHA the same all over Mansfield District?
A: Yes. The Rent Service has incorporated Mansfield into a single BRMA.
Q: Are there rent restrictions on claimants aged under 35?
A: Yes. Most childless single claimants aged under 35 will qualify for the shared rate whether or not they live in shared accommodation.
Q: Can childless couples or over 35s qualify for a higher LHA rate?
A: Yes. Couples (same or opposite sex) or claimants 35 or over who do not share their accommodation will get the one bedroom LHA rate.
Q: Do the rules on shared accommodation apply to joint tenants?
A: If the joint tenants are all single without children, each claimant will qualify for the shared LHA rate.
Q: How do claimants set up a bank account to receive Housing Benefit directly?
A: The council and the government are promoting the use of basic bank accounts for tenants receiving benefit.
Q: How does the council decide what sized accommodation a claimant qualifies for?
A: The Housing Benefit regulations allow for the following size criteria to be used to determine the number of bedrooms that a claimant can qualify for.
Q: How often will the rate of LHA change for an individual claim?
A: In all circumstances we will review individual claims every year and change the LHA rate to the appropriate amount at that time.
Q: How does the Valuation Office provide information on LHA rates?
A: Every month the Valuation Office will set rates of LHA for different sized accommodation within each BRMA.
Q: How will tenants manage if they are unable to cope with paying rent?
A: It is recognised that some claimants may struggle with the responsibility of paying their rent.
Q: I have had a continuous Housing Benefit claim that started before the introduction of LHA (7/4/2008). Can I claim Housing Benefit under the new LHA rules?
A: Housing Benefit assessed using the LHA rules will only apply to new claims made on or after the 7th April 2008.
Q: What are childless tenants living in shared accommodation entitled to?
A: There is a category of LHA for shared accommodation which is applied where a childless tenant does not have exclusive use of more than one room and shares any or all of a kitchen, living room, bathroom or a toilet.
Q: What is a Broad Rental Market Area (BRMA)?
A: The Rent Service uses a definition to help it decide the location of a BRMA.
Q: What is Local Housing Allowance (LHA)?
A: LHA has changed the way we pay Housing Benefit for private sector tenants. It is the new way by which we decide the maximum amount of Housing Benefit that can be paid.
Q: What is the maximum amount of Housing Benefit a claimant can receive under LHA rules?
A: The LHA rate is the maximum amount of Housing Benefit that can be paid to a claimant who qualifies for that accommodation size but is restricted to no more than the 4 bedroom rate.
Q: Who sets the LHA rates in Mansfield?
A: The Valuation Office is responsible for setting the LHA rates.
Q: Can Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) be awarded to claimants who receive Housing Benefit under the LHA rules?
A: Yes - the rules remain the same . DHPs can be awarded to those claimants whose Housing Benefit does not meet their actual rent.
Q: Contacting Us
A: We can provide leaflets with this information in large print.
Q: Who will overpayments of Housing Benefit be recovered from?
A: Housing Benefit regulations define from whom overpayments should be recovered. The introduction of LHA has not changed these rules.
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This page was last modified 14/10/2011 11:51:37

Website URL : http://www.mansfield-dc.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1537