15:13 PM, 6th January 2014, About 8 years ago 7
Just wanted to post a note on here for those landlords who let properties to single people claiming Housing Benefit.
For people age between 25 and 35 there is an exception to the Local Housing Allowance restrictions if they have spent a total of over 3 months in a homeless hostel, at any time (even if decades ago, and not all at once, and in different LA areas). The exception also applies for those that have been in domestic violence refuges, or in residential drug rehabilitation.
This is sometimes not asked on Housing Benefit claim forms, or tenants don’t give these details as they don’t realise why it would be relevant, but it can make a huge difference to the amount of Housing Benefit a person may be entitled to, e.g. I have just obtained a backdated HB payment for one of my residents of over £1200.
When I first raised this with the Housing Benefit Dept they were not even aware of these exceptions, so I had to send them proof of the LHA exception criteria, but once accepted it has resulted in quite a few increased HB entitlements for my residents. I now specifically ask about past hostel occupancies on my housing application forms so that I can ensure the resident receives the correct entitlement.
Obtaining this for residents can make a big difference to tenancy sustainment, and reduction of rent arrears, leading to greater stability for both landlords and tenants, and the consequential reduction in void times and costs.
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