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robin9342

Housing Benefit vs Local Housing Allowance

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I currently rent a flat at £400 per month and receive full housing benefit under the old system due to being on income support. Local housing allowance for my flat is up to £550.

 

If my claim was under the new LHA system, I would receive £400 per month plus £15 per week. My local authority says I can only change to LHA if there is a break in my claim, or if I move. I don't intend to move, so what I want to know is: How long a break would I have to take? And can I just say that I want to stop my claim for that period?

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Hey Robin

 

I'm hoping this gets bumped up as I'm interested in your situation. I'm caught in a catch 22 with the LHA myself. I came off Income Support and started working and so had my HB entitlement recalculated at the LHA rate of around £178 per week which is what it was when I first moved into my place despite the current rate being around £196 per week. Apparently I have to stay at the lower rate unless I move or there's a break, change of circumstance with your income isn't enough for them to review it. Its very annoying as the extra £20 a week would be very useful!

 

I really don't know how long a break you need to take, I wonder if Citizens Advice could give you some better advice, I'm often made to feel I'm wasting my local council's time if I ring up with a benefit query....

 

I'd be very interested to hear if you've found a way to get the extra you should be entitled to.

 

Nas

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I did this.

My Landlord told me to take a break from Housing Benefit.

I basically just went into the Council and told them I needed to take a break and told them honestly why I wanted to do that (to get onto LHA).

Thing is, I ended up worse off. On Housing Benefit I was £3 a week shy of my rent, I'm now £10 a week shy of my rent so I have to find £40 a month for my Landlord.

It's a stitch-up invented by the lazy Councils who dont want to visit homes to assess them for rent any more.

 

I live in Plymouth,Devon and our Council are too busy pandering to the whims of the posh flats that block our views of the Sea, we call them 'second-homes'.

Because they're so busy pandering to the snobs, us REAL Plymouthians are treated like ****.

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I did this.

 

My rent was £450 PCM, and HB would only pay up to £425 PCM. LHA however paid £495 PCM!

 

I had a weeks break in my claim then reclaimed for LHA - being allowed to keep the extra, and not having to find the difference, meant it was worth finding the weeks rent myself.

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Normally a weeks break will put you on the LHA, reason for this is that it must be a new claim in order entitlement to be based on LHA. Assuming you receive council tax benefit this should remain continuous as in law HB and CTB claims are separate.

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Quite right, a week's break is enough to qualify. The new LHA is worked out nationally every month (not by local councils) for every postcode and every type of accommodation (you wouldn't expect the rent on a one-bedroom flat to be the same as a three-bedroom semi) right. As one of the earlier posting make obvious rents can go down as well as up so I recommend you get advise from the council before going down this path. It was set up to aid claimants - not line the pockets of landlords - but the credit crunch came along so here we are, some winners, some losers. You also only get to keep a difference of £15 per week if the landlord sets the rent too low.


If my advice has been helpful tip the scales

 

West brom SETTLED

 

Halifax current SETTLED IN FULL

halifax curent (2nd) stayed. Visa - SETTLED

2nd visa LBA sent

halifax for the 3rd time. LBA sent

 

Egg - SETTLED GE Money - SETTLED Barclaycard SETTLED twice

 

Sainsbury's - Awaiting court date

 

Co-op cc SETTLED IN FULL 2nd claim. Settled in full

 

 

National Westminster Settled in full. 2nd claim. N1 submitted

 

 

HFC bank SETTLED. HFC 2nd claim - lba sent 21/10/08 Time Retail N1 filed Argos settled in full Creation - SETTLED IN FULL

 

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im a council tennant does this apply to me?

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No it dosn't unfortunately, private tenants only I believe. Not even sure if housing associations are included.


If my advice has been helpful tip the scales

 

West brom SETTLED

 

Halifax current SETTLED IN FULL

halifax curent (2nd) stayed. Visa - SETTLED

2nd visa LBA sent

halifax for the 3rd time. LBA sent

 

Egg - SETTLED GE Money - SETTLED Barclaycard SETTLED twice

 

Sainsbury's - Awaiting court date

 

Co-op cc SETTLED IN FULL 2nd claim. Settled in full

 

 

National Westminster Settled in full. 2nd claim. N1 submitted

 

 

HFC bank SETTLED. HFC 2nd claim - lba sent 21/10/08 Time Retail N1 filed Argos settled in full Creation - SETTLED IN FULL

 

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