I’ve had a number of calls recently regarding the 9 months transitional period concerning the announced changes to LHA from April 2011. Most enquiries are in relation to a letter from the local authority giving examples and it would seem most examples either conflict or differ between authorities.
I thought therefore we would produce some guidance as to how the transitional period works.
As a quick summary, the following changes take effect on 1 April 2011:
- An additional bedroom in any case where the customer or their partner is a person who requires overnight care
- New discretionary direct payments to landlords (see discussion here)
- Maximum number of bedrooms reduced from five to four bedrooms
- The LHA rate will no longer exceed the contractual rent (or the tenant’s share of the contractual rent in joint tenancies) thus removing the £15.00 weekly excess amount
- Introduce maximum (capped) weekly rates as follows:
- £250 for a one bedroom property
- £290 for a two bedroom property
- £340 for a three bedroom property
- £400 for a four bedroom property
- Change the method for calculating the LHA rate so that it is based on the rent at the 30th percentile of rents achieved in the broad rental market area