Announced in the Summer Budget, along with other welfare changes, freezing of Local housing Allowance (LHA) payments has been confirmed by Government. The RLA has training available to help landlords make the most of the changes.
The Rent Officers (Housing Benefit and Universal Credit Functions) (Local Housing Allowance Amendments) Order 2015 SI 2015/1753 provides that LHA rates will remain at the April 2015 levels (or be set at the 30th percentile point for local market rents, if this is lower). In the Summer Budget 2015 (para 1.137) the Chancellor announced that these rates will be frozen from 2016/17 to 2019/20.
The amount a claimant receives in housing benefit is based upon the local housing allowance rate. This rate is calculated every month by the rent officer assessing non housing benefit rents within the local area and calculating the 30 percentile of those rents. This provides a monthly figure. As market rents rise (or fall) so, does the LHA rate.
Landlords and tenants can expect their LHA payments to remain at the current rate or the 30th percentile of local area rents, whichever is lowest. This means that payments could drop if market rates drop.
The RLA has training courses available for landlords to make the most of the situation:
The next dates for the course are:
Wednesday 20th January 2016 – in London
Thursday 21st January 2016- in Manchester