Landlord is Local Authority

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    I am having a mental block with this and wonder if you can help? We have no housing stock as it was transferred to a Housing Association some years ago. However, our Social Work Department rent 3 ‘community homes’ from the Housing Association which they then sub-let to occupants with learning difficulties. Support is provided which has been identified on top of the rental costs. The rental costs are just the flat rent charged by the Housing Association plus management costs. The rents are not that high but will probably be higher than a RO determination.

    Do they require a referral to the Rent Offcier and how are they treated for subsidy?

    chris harvey

    If the tenants pay rent to the local authority then they are rent rebate claims rather than rent allowance. These are excluded from referral to the Rent Officer. For subsidy they are classed as non HRA Rent Rebates and should be declared in cell 13 of the subsidy claim. They are not homeless people so they will not need to be declared in any of the sub cells that relate to homeless people that are subject to subsidy thesholds.


    I don’t agree.

    It’s only a Council tenancy (and hence a rent rebate) if the landlord is the Housing Department of the Council, acting in its capacity as Housing Authority.
    If the landlord’s the Social Services Department acting as such, you should award a rent allowance.
    Most of ours are referrable to the Rent Officer but you’d need to check whether any exemptions apply.

    We actually pay them by BACS – the bank’s computer gets to transfer the money from one Council account to another – completely separate from the computer interface that pays our thousands of HRA and non-HRA rebate claims.

    Julian Hobson

    Darkside – I don’t agree

    The provision is in s134(1A) of the SSAA1992 the interpretation is in s191 of the same act.

    Housing Authority is defined as “local authority, a new town corporation, scottish homes or the development board for rural wales”. Nowhere does it state “Housing Department of the Council, acting in its capacity as Housing Authority”.

    If you are a tenant of the LA regardless of which service it is that the responsibility lies with, then your HB will be rent rebate, either HRA or NON HRA. Whether it is HRA or NON HRA will be a matter of fact.

    See para 701 of this for some confirmation that what i say is a possibility.

    It is possible (and I’m no expert) that the arrangements for Social Services Depts outside LA’s administering HB (Borough V County) could mean that those cases are Rent allowance and referrable. Perhaps someone else could pick up on this?


    I agree with Julian, including the bit about districts and counties in England.

    In Scotland and Wales there is a single tier of local government. In Scotland and Wales, therefore, it is impossible to have a rent allowance claimant with a local authority landlord: irrespective of whether the placement is in-borough or out of borough, and irrespective of the Council department concerned, HB is administered by the same Council that collects the rent and it’s a rebate case by virtue of s134..

    In England there are still some areas where local government is two-tier. In these areas, social services is a county service and HB is a district service. That means that a county council cannot award rebates to its own tenants because it doesn’t run an HB service. Therefore the tenants have to claim rent allowance from the district in which they live. These cases need to be referred to the Rent Officer because the CRR affects subsidy; but in many cases they are exempt from the LRR rules because they tend to be supported units where care etc is provided. If you look very closely at the definition of exempt accommodation, you will see that the only local authority landlord it refers to is an English county. This is because tenants of English districts (be they met, unitary or DC) and tenants of all Scottish and Welsh authorities claim rebates from their landlord authority, so they aren’t referred to the RO and so there is no need for them to be exempt from the LRR.


    Grr, this and it’s giving me a bleeding headche, I keep changing my mind so would just like some assurance please.

    All opinions very welcome, thanks in advance.

    We have a claim from a homeless person that has been housed in temp accomm by the LA(Under the HOusing Act 1996, sec 188/193). So far so good.

    The property belongs to the LA and is managed by LA.
    LA does not have any housing stock. The rent charged is not a problem as it’s below tthe threshold.

    Question is how is this now treated considering April changes?


    It’s non-HRA rent rebate, but it is not affected by the April changes because the property is owned by the LA (it falls within Cell 23 of your subsidy claim).

    I’ve had an e-mail from the DWP confirming this, which I’ll try and dig out for you.


    Thanks. 😀

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