9:40 AM, 24th November 2015, About 6 years ago 50
I am always astounded by how much more the real market rents are compared to the LHA (Local Housing Allowance) rates. It appears to me that the LHA rates must currently be based on unreal very low rents, because when I look on Rightmove or other lettings websites at the rental figures, there is perhaps only one out of every hundred rental properties that is available at or below the LHA rate.
Having checked how the LHA rates are calculated, it appears to me to be based on a very narrow range of properties, because most landlords do not submit rental information to the VOA (Valuation Office Agency) who collate the figures. I would therefore urge ALL private landlords to submit rental figures to the VOA so that the LHA can be calculated based on real rents from as wide a range of landlords as possible (not just those who usually let to LHA tenants).
This is very important for both landlords and tenants, as it determines the levels of Housing Benefit payable to households (and thus the amount of rent that they can afford to pay to landlords). This can often be the difference between keeping up rent payments and keeping a home, or falling into arrears and becoming homeless.
My local VOA officer has said that I can give his contact details on the website for landlords to submit rental details to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The basic information required is the address of the property, how many bedrooms it has, and the rent being charged.
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