LHA Verses Old Scheme

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    We have a property where the Landlord rents out indiviudal rooms with shared use of bathroom facilities.

    Up to recently breakfast has apparently been included and therefore we have treated any new claims following the 07/04/08 as Old Scheme.

    The Rent Officer has recently visited the property to be told by a tenant that breakfast is not included and I too have subsequently been told by the Landlord that they no longer provide breakfast.

    Clearly they were “providing” breakfast to get round the payment direct rules and be classed as old scheme cases and not LHA.

    I need to determine from when the breakfast stopped being provided but have the following query:

    Tenants that have lived and claimed HB prior to the 07/04/08 will continue to be old scheme cases and just need referringto the Rent Officer for an up to date valuation due to the change in the conditions of their tenancy.

    All new tenants that make a claim will be treated under the LHA rules and the payment direct issue will be resolved under the safegaurding policy.

    However I am concerned about those tenants that made claims after the 07/04/08 and have been treated as old scheme. Do these become LHA now breakfast is no longer provided or should we continue to treat them as old scheme on the basis that they were originally exempt and we just get an up to date Rent Officers decision?

    Any assistance would be appreciated




    I would say they are no different to existing claims who have never had meals provided i.e. they become LHA claims only if they move (or break their claim). Just because there has been a change in the terms of the tenancy doesn’t make the difference.

    Same thing happened to us – LL worked out he would potentially be better off if his tenants were on LHA. I did think about contrivance but couldn’t see it going anywhere because his tenants were actually paying less with no breakfast added on!


    I think these cases will fall into two classes:

    – cases where the breakfast provision had already ended at the time of the claim: these should never have been LRR and the awarding decisions should be revised. This might result in an increase in entitlement, with arrears payable most likely to the claimant rather than the landlord; or it might result in a decrease in HB with an overpayment recoverable from whoever it was that caused the overpayment by not giving you proper information (or perhaps even official error if the claimants gave correct information on their claim forms and you just didn’t take any notice of it). If you would not consider direct payment to the landlord to be appropriate under LHA rules, any future payments will go to the claimants, but all the HB paid to the landlord up to now is offset against the revised award so there is no need to worry about the fact that the “wrong” person has been paid.

    – the other class of case are those where breakfast was still provided on the date of claim, so it was correct to set them up as LRR in the first place. These claimants are not treated any differently from the pre-April 08 group. This is because nothing will happen to trigger an LHA determination until they change address or have a break in claim. Reg 14 caters for continuing annual RO determinations in such cases.


    For claims that were originally made after 07.04.08, I would have thought they would fall under LHA once the condition that meant they were exempt from LHA no longer exists.

    You have got me thinking now.


    Clare: Have a look at (in this order) Reg 13C, Reg 14, Reg 13, Reg 12C, then Reg 14 again.

    Reg 13C says that on the date of the new claim, LHA does not apply because of board (which was still provided at that time). So the new claim, post-April 08 but still with board, is not LHA.

    Reg 14 says the case should be referred to the bRO because (1) it’s rent allowance and (2) it’s not subject to LHA under Reg 13C

    Reg 13 says there is a maximum rent when the rent has been referred to the RO

    Reg 12C says the eligible rent is the maximum rent under Reg 13 where one exists.

    After 52 weeks, Reg 14 will kick in again, unless Reg 13C has in the meantime triggered an LHA determination … which it won’t, because there hasn’t been a claim or a change of address.


    Thank you

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