LHA rate and rent increase.

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    We have a customer who is claiming LHA.

    We used December 2008 LHA rate, and her rent was at this stage £80.77 per week, And LHA was 114.23

    Entitlment was £95.77 including top up.

    Customer has now had a rent increase in June, and rent is now £92.31 per week. We have input the rent increase and are still using the December LHA rate.

    Entitlment is still £95.77

    is this correct or should she get £92.31 + £15 = £107.31


    It’s correct. My understanding is what ever the LHA rate is at the start of the claim remains for 12 months. Rent increases don’t change the rate.


    Martin, would you mind elaborating on your answer please.

    Without meaning to hijack the thread, we have a similar case…. claimant has a low rent, lived there for a number of years, £140 per week. She claimed in June 2008, at which time her LHA was £250 per week. We paid the £140+£15 per week.

    In May 09 her landlord increased the rent by £20 per week to a still very reasonable £160 per week. The AO has decided that at the time LHA was set her rent was £140.00 per week, so we cannot increase it. However, I don’t agree. As far as I can see, in June 2008 the maximum LHA was set at £250 per week, and I cannot see any reason why we cannot allow a rent increase, so long as it does not exceed the LHA set in June 08.

    Unlike the old Rent Officer decisions, where the decision was specific to a referred rent, and, even if it was a reasonable rent, there was no mechanism to allow a new referral just for an increase, my understanding is that under LHA, the maximum eligible rent is the [i:59274e9583]maximum LHA that’s being set[/i:59274e9583], and I can’t find anything in the regs to say that at the time you set the maximum eligible rent it’s the actual rent liable at the time it’s set, regardless of the LHA level.

    It seems logical; under the old RO rules, if someone did have a reasonable rent and had a rent increase, they lost out because we could not refer it, whereas under LHA, as far as I can see, in setting the maximum level based not on the specific property/rental, but on the BMRA for that area, it should give us provision to consider a rent increase within the 52 weeks, as long as we don’t exceed the LHA originally set.

    If we [i:59274e9583]can’t [/i:59274e9583]allow the rent increase until the anniversary of the LHA (which, incidenally is now £255 a week), could someone please explain why and point to the specific regs!



    I think Reg 12D(2) covers it.


    That just seems too….. straight forward for the HB related LHA regs….!

    So 12D(2) states that:

    [i:30501c5810]Where this regulation applies—
    (a) the amount of a person’s eligible rent shall be the maximum rent (LHA)[/i:30501c5810]; [i:30501c5810]and [/i:30501c5810]
    (b) [i:30501c5810]it shall apply until [b:30501c5810]the earlier of[/b:30501c5810][/i:30501c5810]—
    (i) the determination of a maximum rent (LHA) by virtue of regulation 13C(2)(d) (change of category of dwelling, death or change of dwelling for an LHA case) ([i:30501c5810]not applicable here[/i:30501c5810]);
    (ii) the determination of a maximum rent (LHA) by virtue of regulation 13C(3) (anniversary of LHA date) (of little help in this instance!); [u:30501c5810]or [/u:30501c5810]
    (iii) [i:30501c5810]the determination of a maximum rent by virtue of regulation 13 or an eligible rent under regulation 12B[/i:30501c5810].

    I think I must have been reading 12D(2) incorrectly, as in stating that the amount of a person’s eligible rent is the the LHA (ie that their maximum eligible rent is the LHA, and not their actual rent liability).

    Para (b) though…. it states that it shall apply until the earlier of (i) (not applicable), (ii) (not applicable), or (iii), [i:30501c5810]the determination of a maximum rent under regulation 12B[/i:30501c5810]. 12B prescribes how the eligible rent is determined, so is (iii) not giving us provision to allow us to go back and redetermine what the eligible rent is?! If not, what is the purpose of that subpara for (2(b)(iii))?

    Ozzies Mate

    It works along the same principle as RO decisions do.

    The LHA anniversary date is the same as the RO referral date & once set should a rent increase be effected within the following 52 week period then the old rent figure (or RO decision) still remains effective.

    The only exception would be if an event that justifies a change in LHA rate i.e. room rate change or a new claim then the actual rent could be used at that time.

    The one ‘strange’ thing that is applicable to LHA rate is that the rate would not change if the rent were decreased during the 12 month period (not that it ever happens of course)


    Hi Ozzie

    I can see the principles in it being similar to the RO rules, but what’s the purpose of (2(b)(iii)) in the reg?

    The difference between RO and LHA is that under RO the decision related to a specific claim/rent/tenant, but under LHA the maximum LHA is set based on the BMRA, so not specific to a tenancy, and to me it seems a missed opportunity if it continues to penalise someone who has a genuine rent increase and their original rent and the increase are below the BMRA for that area!

    It was always a pain in the arse as rent increases rarely fell in line with a RO annual decision, and this could have allowed for that!

    Julian Hobson

    12B only applies when 12D doesn’t and 13 doesn’t apply in LHA cases.

    This provision simply recognises that if someone moves and the LHA ceases to apply you may have to make decisions using 13 or 12B and if so the Max R(LHA) will cease to apply.

    As long as it is an LHA case you can’t make decisions using 12B or 13 and so 12D 2(b)(iii) doesn’t apply.


    Booo! I guess I’ll just have to make do with paying her out of DHP for the small period then!

    Cheers for the clarification guys!


    Edit – Please ignore this post


    The replies to this post makes no sense to me. So could someone please just answer my simple question of,

    Is the first post correct, do we not increase payments following a rent increase, where the rent is still below the LHA rate?



    You don’t increase the payment. The £15 top up can be adjusted downwards, but total payment remains the same.


    Edit, please ignore this post



    Could you please quote the legislation that has led to the ‘lenient interpretation of the rules’?

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