Persons Affected / Data Protection / Local Housing Allowance

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  • #23186
    Kevin D


    Another classic case of the DWP arguing against its own guidance and then trying to rely on a change in one aspect of law as somehow importing other changes. Some points of interest…..

    [b:6a18ca846e]Local Housing Allowance:[/b:6a18ca846e]

    Cmmr Williams makes the observation that LHA is not another scheme outside the Housing Benefit scheme. LHA is simply a modification of the existing HB scheme.

    It was also observed that although the Guidance is littered with the terms, neither “Local Housing Allowance” nor “vulnerable tenant” is mentioned once in the legislation. 😆

    [b:6a18ca846e]Person Affected / change of payee[/b:6a18ca846e]

    A change of payee is a “decision” that carries the right of appeal. The advent of LHA does not change that. BOTH the clmt AND the L/L are persons affected and BOTH must be notified accordingly.

    The DWP tried to argue the introduction of LHA had the effect that a change of payee was not a decision and, therefore, could not be appealed. The Cmmr pointed out that this argument directly contradicted the DWP’s view in existence prior to LHA. And, no relevant law, on this aspect, had been changed with the advent of LHA.

    [b:6a18ca846e]Data Protection[/b:6a18ca846e]

    The LA was reluctant to provide docs showing the clmt’s new address, on the grounds that the L/L was not entitled to that info. However, the Cmmr found @ p55:

    “As all documents should be copied to all parties, the practical effect is that the landlord is entitled to know the address of the tenant if it is known to the Council or the tribunal. Without hearing argument, I cannot see how the Data Protection Acts can justify a party withholding this from the tribunal and therefore from the other parties.”

    Possible argument…… How is the clmt’s new address relevant in deciding the appeal? So long as the parties are notified, with the clmt’s new address being obscured from copies going to a third party, how does this impinge on the landlord’s rights specifically in respect of the HB appeal? Even if the L/L wanted the tenant to be summoned, that would require only TTS to have the new address. As an aside, there is no penalty for failing to comply with a summons to a Tribunal – although inferences could be drawn.




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