Dhp best practice guide – rent deposits & rent in advanc

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  • #19612
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I have a question on the new dhp best practice guide, in particular the section regarding rent deposits & rent in advance -sections 360 & 361.

    The DWP have given an example and say that ‘the level of the DHP is limited by the HB award in respect of property A’

    I’m confused – for example if the property A has a rent of £100.00 per week and benefit of £70.00, does this mean the dhp at property B can only be up to £30.00 per week? – or am I missing the point?

    Thanks for any advice.

    #363
    AlecS
    Participant

    I think the example they have provided is a bit misleading. I believe the DWP have assumed in their example that the DHP award at property A is equivalent to the shortfall between the rent and HB award at property A. In making this assumption the maximum DHP amount you can award towards a rent deposit/advance for property B will be equivalent to the HB award at property A. Using the figures you provided it would mean: –

    Example 1

    A person in property A has a rent of £100.00 per week and is receiving HB of £70.00 and DHP of £30.00.

    The total amount of DHP that can be paid towards the rent deposit/advance is: –

    Weekly Rent at A £100.00
    LESS Weekly DHP award at A £30.00
    Maximum DHP payment for rent deposit/advance for B: £70.00(i.e HB award at A)

    However, where the DHP award at property A is not equivalent to the shortfall between the rent and HB award at property A, the maximum DHP amount you can award towards a rent deposit/advance for property B will NOT be “limited by the HB award in respect of property A”.

    In this situation, the maximum DHP amount you can award towards a rent deposit/advance for property B will be equivalent to the rent at property A less the DHP award at property A.

    Example 2

    A person in property A has a rent of £100.00 per week and is receiving HB of £70.00 and DHP of £15.00.

    The total amount of DHP that can be paid towards the rent deposit/advance is: –

    Weekly Rent at A £100.00
    LESS Weekly DHP award at A £15.00
    Maximum DHP payment for rent deposit/advance for B:£85.00

    That my interpretation. Does any one agree or disagree?

    #364
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Any more thoughts on this from anyone please ?

    We are going to be getting requests for DHP to be used in this way soon and want to be sure we are advising correctly.

    #365
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Any more thoughts on this from anyone please ?

    We are going to be getting requests for DHP to be used in this way soon and want to be sure we are advising correctly.

    #366
    jmembery
    Participant

    I think what the DWP are saying (badly) is that, although the DHP regs allow you to grant a DHP in respect of Housing Costs for property B (under Reg 3), the effect of Reg 4 is to limit the total amount of the DHPs paid to the level of rent on property A as that is the property upon which the claimant is receiving HB.

    Therefore, in the example, the limit on the [b:02d718a1aa]total[/b:02d718a1aa] amount of DHP payable is the level of eligible rent on Property A, I.E £100.

    So if you are already paying a DHP of £30.00 you only have £70.00 left to pay in respect of property B.

    #367
    mthorne
    Participant

    Sorry If I am being a little slow here but as its looking like we may be offering this soon too…. am I right in thinking that if the claimant is on HB at property A, had a rental liability of £100, a HB award of £70 and we are giving £30 DHP then we could give him a DHP towards a rent deposit at property B of £70? Does it follow that if they didn’t have a DHP at their current address, they could have a DHP of £100 towards a rent deposit?

    So… A DHP towards a rent deposit can only be given if the claimant is already in rented accommodation? Whatif they are a non dep trying to get a property who has never had rented accommodation before? are they therefore excluded from applying for help?

    #368
    jmembery
    Participant

    If the person were a non-dependent at property A they would not be in receipt of HB for property A (as they were a non-dep) nor property B (as they had not moved in) so could not get a DHP at all.

    #369
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Has anyone paid any of these yet ? I have just been approached about this by my Homeless team and am wondering as to the best way to proceed.

    #370
    nickatsefton
    Participant

    Here is a different slant on the example in the Guide:
    I consider the wording of the last sentence in the example at para 361 to be significant; “…but the level of DHP is limited by the HB award in respect of property A”. “by”, [u:f8fb0b8e6e]not[/u:f8fb0b8e6e] “to”. The level of DHP plus HB cannot exceed the weekly eligible rent (para 341) and so the amount available as DHP for property B is limited to the difference between the eligible rent at property B and the HB award in respect of property A.
    Let’s say rent at A is £65 with HB of £60 (current DHP for A is £5). Rent at B is £100. The maximum DHP for B would be £100 less £60, ie £40. In this case, the amount (if any) of DHP at A is not relevant.
    What does anyone else think?

    Something else to consider… the Landlord wants £400 (4wks at £100), we make a DHP award of £160 (4 wks at £40), only to find that the tenant couldn’t afford to pay the difference and didn’t move in. We’ve paid the DHP award to the L/L already… can we legally get it back off him?

    #371
    jmembery
    Participant

    I am afraid that the guidance given in para 341 is just plain wrong. As long as some HB/CTB is awarded then the level has no effect on the amount of DHP you can award.

    4. Limit on the amount of the discretionary housing payment that may be made
    The amount of a discretionary housing payment (if calculated as a weekly sum) shall not exceed, in a case where the need for further financial assistance arises as a consequence of the liability to make –
    (a) periodical payments in respect of the dwelling which a person occupies as his home, other than payments in respect of council tax, an amount equal to the amount of the aggregate of the payments specified in regulation 10(1) of the Housing Benefit Regulations less the aggregate of the amounts referred to in regulation 10(3)(b)(i) to (iii) of those Regulations, calculated on a weekly basis in accordance with regulation 69 and 70 of those Regulations; or
    (b) payments in respect of council tax, an amount equal to the weekly amount of council tax liability of that person calculated on a weekly basis.

    #372
    nickatsefton
    Participant

    Thanks for this jmembery. It’s beginning to make a little more sense.
    Can you advise on how the new Reg 5(2) applies? (DFA (Amendment) Regs 2008) This seems to say that DHP can only be made in respect of a period during which the claimant is or was entitled to HB. How do we pay a DHP for a deposit or rent in advance (for a period that hasn’t come about yet) when as soon as they move out of property A to move into property B, their entitlement (at property A) ends? I’m still not clear on this.

    #373
    jmembery
    Participant

    They can only receive a DHP for a period for which they are receiving HB (at property A), although they can use this DHP to pay for rent in advance/deposit at property B before they move.

    The reason that they can do this is there is nothing specifying that the Housing Costs for which they need financial assistance is limited to those for the property for which they are receiving HB. (Reg 2)

    #374
    nickatsefton
    Participant

    So, so long as we make the payment whilst the claim at property A is still open, the payment is validly made?

    #375
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Any more thought on this subject anyone ?

    Anyone used DHP for this purpose yet ?

    We are getting asked to use DHP for this and not sure how to go about it so any advice welcome, thanks.

    #376
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I am now preparing a paper for our Executive Board asking for an increase in the budget for DHPs as I am coming under increasing pressure to use them for rent deposits. It occurs to me that, although ther eis a restriction in the weekly award of a DHP, there is no such restriction if it is paid as a lump sum

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