Limit of DHP award

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    I have recently heard the suggestion that DHP awards may not be limited to the total rent liability. I find it hard to believe that this was the policy intention, but here’s the logic:

    Reg 4 of the Discretionary Financial Assistance Regs says that the award of DHP is limited to the amount of eligible rent. So, if the liability is £60pw, and the eligible rent is £50pw, HB would be restricted to £50pw. However, reg 4 seems to say that the DHP award could be £50pw as well, hence the total of HB + DHP could be £100pw.

    I think that the limit is set by the requirement for DHP to be used for housing expenses, hence the limit being at total rent liability.

    On reading CPAG’s commentary, I’ve also noticed that it seems possible to pay DHP for utilies, eg gas & electricity, which are ineligible for HB. This is because reg 3 excludes payments for “water, sewerage and allied services” (which CPAG take as being emptying of septic tanks etc).

    Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.


    It could be argued that DHP is available for payment upto the full amount of the rental liability ie: in your example £60. Howeveryour point about paying for utilities is wrong Reg 3(a) specifically excludes liability arising out of ineligible service charges. Water, sewerage and allied services are dealt with seperately under Reg 3(b).

    Our authority however has never paid more than the difference between the rental liability and the amount of HB that an individual is receiving.


    We have considered paying up to a persons contractual rent in the past as this is usually the eligible rent (no service charges etc). However with the introduction of LHA, the eligible rent depends:

    Where the rent is more than the LHA rate, the eligible rent is the LHA Rate.

    Where the rent is less than the LHA rate excess can be paid above the rent (up to a maximum of £15) but the total amount paid cannot exceed the LHA rate.

    So if i want to pay a DHP where the contractual rent is more than LHA – am i restricted to the lha amount?
    And if the rent is less can i pay up to rent + cap?

    Or have i completely got it completely wrong? ?


    You are, of course, correct that in your example the claimant could get £50.00 in HB and £50.00 in DHP totalling £100.

    Whether your LA would want to do this however….


    Blimey – old post resurrected!
    I don’t think fo a minute that we would consider paying effectively double the contractual rent; however what I was getting at (I think – it was a while ago) was that the drafting of the regs might provide an argument at judicial review or at least prompt the question of ‘why can’t I have..’ when the regs appear to permit it.

    As DHP is not part of HB (or presumably LHA) then the ‘absolute’ limit of the LHA amount being a maximum total payment does not apply – the idea of DHP is to make up shortfalls in awards against contractual rent, whether the restriction comes from an RO decision or LHA.

    In an LHA case I would expect to consider paying up to the full contractual rent. Where the restriction is due to LHA being less than the rent I would look at paying the difference, and where there is a further reduction in HB due to the taper I would include that as well.

    The £15 excess only comes into play when the rent is less than the LHA, so I don’t see how the conditions could arise where there would be a need to pay rent + excess + DHP.


    Sorry, I think there was something wrong with my browser, when I opened the DHP forum your post was at the top.
    I didn’t notice the dates.


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