Direct payments

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    Is there anything in the LHA regs which amends HBR 94(3)? We currently use this reg to enable repayment of initial rent payments to a charity which helps tenants meet this initial commitment.

    And, if the reg isn’t changing, wouldn’t it be easier to use this, instead of a convoluted safeguard procedure, to pay LLs if the claimant asks us to? As far as I can tell, the only people we couldn’t pay would be landlords who are under 18 (and I don’t think there are too many of those)

    Please feel free to point out the obvious stuff I am missing.

    Darren Broughton

    Nothing changes in Reg 94, but isn’t that Reg subject to Regs 95 to 97?


    95 and 96 order and permit deviations from the general rule in 94 by paying LL direct. The amendments to these regs by SI 2868/2007 don’t appear to restrict the application of 94(3).

    Could have a bit of an impact on DWP’s stated aims to encourage personal responsibility and financial inclusion though, so I am sure (nearly) that there is a good reason somewhere for not doing it!


    Only guidence of course, but the DWP view is shown below.

    Regulation 95 and 96 set down the circumstances in which payment must or may be made to a landlord. This means that the LA must decline to use its discretion under Regulation 94 to pay the landlord where the claimant has appointed their landlord as their agent, on the basis that this regulation is subject to Regulation 93 and 94. Any decision whether or not to make direct payments to landlords must therefore be under the provisions in Regulations 95 and 96. This decision can be appealed to the appeal tribunal.

    Julian Hobson

    Just considering this here.

    I’ve reread 94 and it is only 94(1) that is subject to 95 to 97 and it needs to be because it says payment will be made to the claimant. 94(3) isn’t subject to anything and allows the authority to use its discretion through use of the word MAY.

    For as long as 95 to 97 existed in the old form, they were more than sufficient to mean that 94(3) didn’t need to be used.

    I really do think that 94(3) could be used under LHA to make a payment to a L/L but given the discretionary nature presumably you would want to know why the arrangement was requested and if it was to circumvent the new restriction then you wouldn’t agree to the request (or would you ?).

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