LHA rate

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    I have 2 joint tenants (private landlord) and they have their own bedroom but they share all the other facilities and we are currently paying them the shared room rate. They have stated that they should have been paid the 1 bed rate.


    do they form a common household? ( in whiuch case they each need a 2 bed rate, capped at half the rent)
    Do they get a severe diosability premium
    How old are they ?

    you need to give a bit more info – but its perfectly possible that the shared accommodation rate doesnt apply to them


    the claimant is 43 and is on esa ir with support component. They have 1 bedroom each but share all the other rooms.
    the rent is split between them.
    The tenants are both brothers but are paid separately by the dwp

    not sure what is ment by common household?


    ok – a commpon household is a specific HB thing. It basically means that joint tenants who live in their property as it theey were a family/part of the same housegholsd get a bedroom for the other joint tenant.
    they are brothers – so all goood.
    Joint tenancies dont have a room each and share everything else – joint tenancies specifically have access to all of the property legally, they are sharing the rent for the whole place (whereas a himo is a renting a specific room with access to shared areas)

    Generally,m youd wat to ask things like “do you split household chores between you/ sometimes cook for each other/split the household bills between you or do you manintain separate household (more akin to living in a shared house, where everyone has their shelf in the food cupboard./fridge, does their owen washing etc.

    its waeasier if we do an example….
    so Bob, 33 and Paul 47 are brother and joint tenants of a 2 bed property.
    The rent is £1000 per month
    The LHA rates for the property are Shared rate £375 1 Bed £525 2 bed £800 per month
    Bob and Paul, split the weekly food shop and will take turns in cooking and cleaning.

    for HB purposes they form a common houshold. Bob works full time and doesnt claim HB but Paul is on ESA IR and PIP . Paulsd hb is based on a 50% share of the rent, but his LHA rate is 2 beds ( because his joint tenant is deemed to be a member of his household) – so his HB would be £115.38 per week. (£50% of £1000 = 500 pcm x 12 /52)

    (NB – if Bob was on HB, he would still only get the SAR rate because being under 35 trumps a common household!)

    Next door live Doris 59 and Jill 27. They are aunt and niece
    SAme rent, same LHA rates
    Both are on HB, both on passported benefits
    Jill is assessed on the shared accommodation rate ragardless of the set up because she is under 35.
    We ask Doris about the living arrangements and she advises, the 2 rarerly get together, they split the household bills but everyone has to do that and they generally keep themselves to themselves. In this case, Doris’s HB is assessed on the shared accommodation rate, so her HB is £ 86.54 per week ( £375 x12/52)

    generally,its often easier to call the customer and have a chat about the living arrangements – but if theres a way to legitimately pay a bit more HB then why wouldnt we?! 🙂

    Hope that helps

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by pbirks.
    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by pbirks.
    Andy Thurman

    “In this case, Doris’s HB is assessed on the shared accommodation rate”

    I disagree! The further enquiries are unnecessary where they are family members. The judgement considered the term “household” (as not further defined in Regs) and this was along the lines of family members or those ‘living together as a family would’. The further questions would be a rather perverse attempt to trip Doris into somehow disproving they are family members just because it works best for them to live fairly independently! That’s just how their household rolls…

    The only time I would seek any further details would be where the JT’s are not related – even then, there is a high base line already established by their decision to live in the property together taking on joint responsibility/liability for rent, council tax and an agreement over bills. Add in some household rules and maybe a cleaning rota (just examples)… (It is also worth bearing in mind that family relationships differ greatly!)
    Sadly, this approach is not possible in UC so shared facilities rate will always apply for new working age claims.

    Peter Barker

    In UC, the only people who get the shared accommodation rate are single <35s. All other singles or coupes without children, including joint tenants, and including people in HMOs, get the s/c 1B LHA.

    This is to facilitate assessment by machine


    Similar query here and getting a little confused.

    Mum and son are joint tenants. Rent for the dwelling = £129.26. 2 bed LHA rate = £103.56.

    As they share a common household the shelter guide advises that the eligible rent is the lowest of the above figures, with the resulting figure apportioned. So if they are 50/50, the amount to be used is £51.78.

    However, this thread suggests they get the 2 bed rate, but capped at half the rent i.e. £64.63.

    Which is correct?


    Assuming they are both over 35, they are both entitled to the 2 bed LHA rate. But HB is capped at the rent charged
    Rent is £129.26/2 = £64.63 each
    as this is less than the LHA rate of ££103.56, the both get £64.63 HB

    If the som is under 35, he will hget the shared accommodation rate LHA – if this is lower than his rent, his HB will be capped at the shared accommodation rate until he turns 35


    Thank you for your response.

    That is the way we have always worked it, and how our software system calculates it.

    However, I was referred to the shelter ‘Guide to housing Benefit’ book which advises to apportion the rent after calculating the lowest of the actual rent or LHA rate. The same calculation appears in prior editions of the book also – it just concerns me to think that something that should be quite straightforward would be incorrect in such a publication.

    Peter Barker

    The Shelter guide is wrong if that’s what it says. There is a UT decision by Richard Poynter which sets this out very clearly, will try to find the reference.

    Peter Barker
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