HALS Headache

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    Here’s a scenario that I have come across today that poses at least a couple of questions. Would appreciate any input.

    We receive a claim from a family who have been provided with accommodation by a HA in our borough. The HA confirms that it is temporary ‘homeless’ accommodation and was let through an agreement with a neighbouring LA of ours.

    So, first of all I had to think who should be responsible for the HB claim….should it be the neighbouring borough as they have placed them in our LA in order to discharge their ‘homelesness’ responsibilities? However, I believe we should administer the HB because it is a Rent Allowance case where the occupier is liable to make payment to the HA (not the LA) and therefore the deciding factor is where the dwelling is situated. Am I correct?

    Secondly….and assuming we are responsible for the HB claim….should we be paying this under the HALS subsidy rules? The accommodation has been provided through a HALS type agreement between the HA and our neighbouring LA, but we are the ones administering the claim…I suspect we should just be treating this as a standard Rent Allowance HA claim, but am not certain of this.


    I would say it is regular HA rent allowance, and actually there seems to be a subsidy loophole here. Article 17C of the subsidy order, which provides for the new subsidy rules to apply in HALS cases, contains the following conditions:

    – rent allowance is payable by an authority
    – the HA is prioviding accommodation under an arrangement with “the authority”

    So to me it reads as if the authority with whom the HA has an arrangement is also the one that pays the rent allowance. It appears that LAs can get around this by encouraging HAs to lease accommodation out of borough so that HB takes the form of a regular rent allowance paid by the other authority. You and your neighbouring Council can scratch one another’s backs!


    After reading S1-2011 and Income-related Benefits (Subsidy to Authorities) (Temporary Accommodation) Amendment Order 2010 (2010 No 2509), my opinion is that the authority with whom the HA has an arrangement with is the one that should be administrating HB.

    Article 17B and 17C does not require for the tenant to have an agreement with the local authority for these cases to be treated as HALS.

    in the office there are some people that believe as property is outside our borough and tenancy in between tenant and HA, tenants are not require to make payments the Local Authority the should be done as a normal HA, however I disagreed,

    Can anyone share some more light on this topic.


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