LHA / change in rent

Currently, there are 0 users and 1 guest visiting this topic.
Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #34476
    Anonymous
    Guest

    We have agreed to pay backdating on a claim to 03/09/08 but we only had rent proof from 01/11/08 which now turns out was based on a rent increase. We processed the claim based on this higher rent. We have now received the rent proof from the start of tenancy and can pay the claim from 03/09/08. Am I right in thinking we now have to go back and use the lower rent charge all the way through from Sept 08. Who’s error would the overpayment be ? 🙁

    #96930
    Julian Hobson
    Participant

    Can you tell us the rent figures and LHA rates for both dates and what you have paid from when.

    #96931
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Original rent £45 a week LHA ( Sept) rate £87.69 would pay £60

    rent increase ( figure we are currently paying on ) £58.00 LHA rate ( Nov) £87.69 – paying £73.00

    There would be a £13 a week o/p .

    #50961
    Julian Hobson
    Participant

    You can action the rent increase from the date it took effect and so you pay the earlier operiod (old rent) at £60.00 and the second period to date (New Rent) at £73.00.

    As for the OP, its definitely LA error I don’t think you could really say that they materially contributed, whether its recoverable ? Do you think your customer could have known they were being overpaid ?

    It might be possible to argue that you were paying over the contractual rent (£15 top up) and that customers should be at least minded to question “why” if they don’t understand the concept or “why was it £28 over” if they understood the concept and expected it to be £15. In any event there should be at least some reaction.

    Perhaps you need to ask your customer those questions, that will give you some idea about them and whether they could have known or did know.

    #96932
    Andreas
    Participant

    IMHO.

    If you only had proof of rent from 1.11.08 I think it would be LAE because you should have sought evidence that there was liability from 3.9.08 before awarding the backdate.

    Due to the excess payment I also think consideration should be given as to whether the OP is recoverable.

    For example, is the claimant a first time claimant who has never received benefit before? Do your notification letters make it clear that x amount of the benefit is payment is for rent and x amount is an excess?

    If the claimant is a first time claimant it may be possible for them to argue that they were not aware they were being overpaid because they were being paid more than their rent from the outset of their claim.

    However, if your notification letters make it clear that x amount is an excess payment and x amount is for rent it may be possible for you to argue that the claimant knew a higher rent was being used for the period from 3.9.08. therefore they were aware they were being overpaid.

    (Sorry, didn’t see Julian’s response before posting… but I guess it reiterates what he says!).

    #96933
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I am being a bit thick here. With the rent increase is it ok to award it because the rate is under the LHA figure for that person – ie use the Sept 08 LHA rate, but then increase the actual rent charge from Nov 08. ?

    #50964
    Andreas
    Participant

    You would have to use the September 08 rate and would merely apply the rent increase without changing the LHA rate (unless there is a change in household leading to a new room category).

    However, if I remember correctly, entitlement won’t be reassessed – only the excess payment. 😕

    #96934
    Anonymous
    Guest

    The claimant is getting the max £15 top up anyway . Would they not now get the new rent £58 plus excess £15 – total £73 as this is below LHA rate ?

    #96935
    Andreas
    Participant

    Fortunately for them their rent is lower than their LHA rate so that will be paid in full.

    The excess should go down to £2.00.

    LHA rate = £60.00 – Rent of £58.00 = Excess of £2.00 (i.e. rent goes up by £13.00 so excess goes down by £13.00).

    Anyone else care to confirm. ❓

    #96936
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Thanks to all.

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.