2nd April, 2017
Most private landlords, accommodating LHA tenants, will be well aware of the fact the rates applicable to LHA tenants have been frozen at 2015 levels for a period of 4 years. The freeze was applied following George Osborne’s Summer Budget of 2015. At the time, the Government made a commitment to include some additional relief provision for areas affected by higher rents.
In keeping with this, the Government is now proposing to use thirty per cent of the savings from the LHA Freeze to create, what they refer to as Targeted Affordability Funding (TAF). This funding will be used to increase some LHA rates in certain high rent areas by 3 per cent starting from April 2017. The 3% increase however cannot, in any situation, exceed the LHA maximum limits (i.e. the national caps).
|1. Category of dwelling as defined in the following paragraphs of this Schedule||2. Maximum local housing allowance for that category of dwelling|
|(one bedroom, shared accommodation)||£260.64|
|(one bedroom, exclusive use)||£260.64|
The bad news is, all other rates, not specifically targeted for this increase, will either remain at the April 2015 level, in line with the current LHA Freeze policy, or will be set at the 30th percentile of local rents, determined by the Rent officer, if this produces a lower figure.
The Rent Officers Order has been amended to permit these arrangements to move forward. The Statutory Instrument (SI) http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2016/1179/article/2/made includes a list of which Broad Rental Market Areas and rates will be targeted for the extra funding, were laid and published on 12 December 2016 and can be found by clicking the link.
The published LHA rates, applying from April 2017 do NOT reflect the new funding have recently been published by the Rent Officer service and can be found here
The VOA’s bedroom calculator https://lha-direct.voa.gov.uk/BedRoomCalculator.aspx will NOT be updated before March, 2017.
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