Claimant with a Sub-tenant

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  • #34578

    Scenario: We have a claimant on JSA C renting a 2 bedroom house at 650pm. She has a sub-tenant. The LHA rate for a 2 bedroom prop is 650pcm. As she has a sub-tenant he is included in her LHA rate so she gets 650pm. Now the sub-tenant has lost his job and gets JSA IB, paying £70pw. Therefore the claimant gets the full rent each week plus £70pw. Overall, we are paying much more in HB than the actual rent, is this right?


    So are you not taking the sub-tenant’s rent into account as income then?


    Well, the £70 per week counts as income (subject to disregards) so your main tenant would not get full HB, but due to those disregards and the 65% taper you would potentially be paying more than £650 per month for the property if the sub-tenant claimed as well.


    But this could always happen when a clt on benefit is subletting – it’s not peculiar to LHA. If they own the house and have a subtenant they are getting benefit (between the 2 of them) when there is no rental liability at all. You have to look at the £70 as the clt’s income and not rent on the property, otherwise you would quickly come to the conclusion that the entire HB scheme is seriously flawed!

    Andy Thurman

    It may not be £70 per week that counts as the claimant’s income – if any of this is the £15 excess, this ‘bonus’ amount would be for the sub-tenant to keep i.e. the £70 is the amount the sub-tenant receives in HB rather than the amount paid to their landlord.

    The sub-tenant income to be used would be the actual amount paid (less, of course, the disregarded £20pw).

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