Exempted Accommodation

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  • #44873
    Lis
    Participant

    Exempt Accommodation

    We have a landlord who has numerous HIMO’s and have recently expanded their portfolio.  They have recently become a registered charity. They are awaiting approval as a social housing provider.

    They have now increased their rents (doubled) and have an element for intensive housing management.

    The tenants are then referred to and  are then provided with support from a sub contractor.

    The person is assessed for mental health, physical health, issues on drugs/alcohol/substance misuse, social and living skills. The subcontractor encourage and support the tenants to access other health and social care professional organisations.

    The support is mental health support and personal recovery.

    The support is being funded by the sub contractor with contributions from the landlord.

    Minimum support is 2 hours twice a week and 2 telephone calls. Some tenants are getting 2 hours a day 7 days a week but there is a lack of funding and they would like to provide 2 hours a day 5 days a week.

    Some existing tenants have been transferred to the support package provided by the sub-contractor, but some have not been transferred.

    My questions are below

    Question 1

    I have read that for exempt accommodation – all residents in that property should be receiving support?

    Question 2

    Can they charge the tenants different rents?  From the information received it appears the rent is the same including the intensive management charge whether they receive support from the sub-contractor or not?

    Question 3

    Can we ask why they require support?  We have a wide range of tenants. We have a list of tenants with support or without support.

    Question 4

    I would presume that the supporting charge would be financed/referred to supporting people.

    Question 5

    Is intensive management charge – a supporting cost? It appears to be a mixture of support and management charges. This is addition to the sub-contractor's supporting charge.

    However this is the breakdown provided below

    The intensive management charge is for homeless assessment for accommodation, dealing with referrals and tenant selection, explaining and drawing up tenancy agreements, giving advice on claiming HB, arranging/counselling on move-on arrangements, regular tenant house meetings, putting residents in touch with care, support and welfare providers, anti social behaviour management, Health and safety inspections, fire alarm testing, property maintenance manangement, arrranging purchase of communal equipment, arranging repairs and maintenance requirements, monitoring contractors and visitors to property.

    This is in addition to a management overhead charge. 

     

    Thank you in advance

    Lisa

     

    #126705
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    Hi Lisa

    I hope someone will try to give you brief answers but my suspicion is that this will lead to more and more questions.

    By deciding to exempt certain types of accommodation from some of the benefit changes (and Univ Credit and especially payment direct perhaps), the Government has almost sent a challenge to large landlords to transform their property into a form of exempt. The prospect of higher rents, no upheavals in funding and so on is leading to a plethora of consultants offerring their services to help with this transfer. How much of it is genuine and how much is smoke and mirrors I would not wish to guess.

    https://hbinfo.org/training/courses/exempt-accommodation-%E2%80%93-latest-position includes a detailed training pack provided by hbinfo on this complex area which is of course changing all the time. DWP will also be speaking at our conference on the 28th on this subject.

    Sorry for the plug…but this type of question is so difficult to answer in brief.

    #126716
    Lis
    Participant

    Thank you for your reply

    #126747
    jmembery
    Participant

    Question 1 – No, exempt accommodation confusingly relates to the individual claimant not to the actual accommodation so they don’t all have to be receiving support, although only those that receive it will be in “exempt accommodation”

    Question 2- Yes, landlords can legitimately charge different people in the same accommodation different rents.

    Question 3 – Yes, in fact if you decide the claimant is in exempt accommodation it would be nearly impossible to decide what is suitable alternative accommodation without having that knowledge.

    Question 4 – Support charges are not eligible for HB but are not necessarily paid by SP as that is a cash limited budget.

    Question 5 – No, genuine IHM is management short of support.

    Hope this is helpful.

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