Government to re-examine payments for Housing Allowance

The NLA, along with housing charities, has also welcomed the commitment to improve the guidance which is offered to local authorities so that the quality and consistency of decision-making can be improved in relation to Local Housing Allowance (LHA).

LHA was introduced for new tenancies in April 2008 when it replaced the old housing benefit system. Under the new rules, instead of rent being paid directly to private landlords to cover housing costs, it now goes straight to the tenants who are responsible for passing on the rent money to their landlord. In practice, many tenants are failing to make these payments and this is causing major problems. In the most serious cases, landlords are refusing to let to tenants who are in receipt of Housing Benefit because of rental arrears.

David Salusbury, Chairman, NLA, said: "This consultation is by no means perfect but the issues which affect LHA can no longer be ignored. The NLA’s response on behalf of landlords across the UK will focus on ensuring that tenants are truly empowered by having the option of being allowed to have rent payments made directly to their landlord if they wish.

"We will also be campaigning for proper safeguards which ensure that councils up and down the country are able to deal quickly and effectively where tenancies start to get into difficulties. This means a more creative engagement between town halls and their local private-rented sector."

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2 thoughts on “Government to re-examine payments for Housing Allowance

  1. Marion Shew

    A problem we are finding with receiving these payments direct is that the way the tenant receives benefits four weekly. The housing allowance is divided over thirteen payments for the year. The payment is only part of the monthly rent with the arrears building up until we receive the thirteenth payment. If the tenant leaves the tenancy part way through the year before the thirteenth payment has been received at the office the arrears still stand. If the rent was paid in full each calendar month by the benefit (with the benefit office sorting out the deduction from the money the tenant is awarded) we would not have a problem with having it paid direct to us.

  2. Marion Shew

    A problem we are finding with receiving these payments direct is that the way the tenant receives benefit four weekly. The allowance is divided over thirteen payments for the year. The payment is only part of the monthly rent with the arrears building up until we receive the thirteenth payment. If the tenant leaves the tenancy part way through the year before the thirteenth payment has been received at the office the arrears still stand. If the rent was paid in full each calendar month by the benefit (with the benefit office sorting out the deduction from the money the tenant is awarded) we would not have a problem with having it paid direct to us.

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