Reply To: The £15 cap and rent increases


This has been discussed before; there is a difference between the LHA level (which does NOT change) and the cap rent calculation which sets the up to £15 excess (which most here think must change). The note fom DWP on the issues log contradicts the note from DWP that has now been posted. So for a bit of fun lets work through an example if rent increases / decreases do not impact until the next change takes place (anniversary or dwelling category).

Take this example (there are lots of others I can think of but I like this one):

A claimant has the largest bedroom in a two bed flat and pays £70 per week. The LHA is £80 for his dwelling category (shared rate) so his entitlement is based on that.

A month later he reports that he has moved to the smaller room in the same flat and is now only liable to pay £50 per week. No change in dwelling or occupiers. You carry on paying the £80 (now £30 above his liability – lots of potential here…).

Shortly after that he reports that a friend (non-dependant) has moved in to the flat for a few weeks. His dwelling category jumps to two bedrooms so he is now entitled to the two bed rate and not the shared rate. Which means he is now entitled to ….


£65 per week. £15 LESS than he was getting before despite moving from the shared to the two bedroom rate. Plus a non-dep deduction may now apply. Good luck in explaining this to him.

Naturally your IT system will need to hold both the actual rent paid and the “notional” rent paid for every case where the rent has changed. No point just putting in the true rent figure in from the next anniversary date because if the claimant does have a change in circs in the meantime (such as a child reaching a certain age) the new calculation will be based on the notional rent when it now needs to use the actual rent. So everyone of these cases will have to be manually checked. If your IT can cope with all this it should be able to arrange World peace on its day off …