Real rents v LHA rents – info request

Real rents v LHA rents – info request

9:40 AM, 24th November 2015, About 6 years ago 50

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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.rent

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: philip.j.ashford@voa.gsi.gov.uk

The basic information required is the address of the property, how many bedrooms it has, and the rent being charged.

Thanks

Robert



Comments

by Jonathan Clarke

11:54 AM, 16th July 2019, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Monty Bodkin at 16/07/2019 - 08:06
``For the time taken discussing it on here, a return could have been submitted``

Thats a fair point lol

by Jonathan Clarke

11:57 AM, 16th July 2019, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by David Lovegrove at 16/07/2019 - 11:31
Agreed .

by Darlington Landlord

9:25 AM, 17th July 2019, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by David Lovegrove at 16/07/2019 - 11:31When I say Market rents I'm talking about the Darlington West End area where all my flats are rather than the much larger Broad Market Area used for LHA rates. My rents whilst average for that area are significantly above the majority in the wider area and the going LHA rates. I wouldn't bother otherwise.

by David Lovegrove

9:52 AM, 17th July 2019, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Darlington Landlord at 17/07/2019 - 09:25
I do not believe many landlords are aware of the extent of how other lower priced locations in the BRMA geographical areas can impact on them if they do not report their higher rents.

by David Lovegrove

13:41 PM, 18th July 2019, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Jonathan Clarke at 13/07/2019 - 21:28
It would be interesting to hear from other landlords as to what other authorities have lifted this freeze.
By having this information we may be able to influence other authorities to do the same.
There is no guarantee that next year will see the LHA rates being amended .

by Jay James

14:14 PM, 18th July 2019, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by David Lovegrove at 15/07/2019 - 20:27
It may be worth looking in to what service charges your tenant's main benefit will pay for. I say this because Luminus (now Chorus) have very abrubtly increased their service charges to both lease holders and tenants. Some of their leaseholders are getting service charges paid by their main benefit, such as JSA(IB). Ditto for their tenants.

by Jonathan Clarke

15:06 PM, 18th July 2019, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by David Lovegrove at 18/07/2019 - 13:41Yes . I dont know how many areas have been given this lifeline. I did see some stats once but cant remember where now . My council kept it very quiet of course hoping LL`s wouldnt find out. It would have been nice if they sent me an e mail. I discovered it by accident over a year into the freeze . I bet dozens of tenants have been evicted up and down the country because of being kept in the dark by lack of transparency . The 3% lift pa could have made the difference between keeping someone on or letting them go . The Gov pretend they want to reduce homelessness but dont do anything to keep us informed of a pay rise
Imagine an employer who was really short staffed and was keen to keep his workers . They have a 3% rise pa in their budget all costed but dont even tell you let alone automatically pay you. So when a worker puts in his notice as he hasn't had a wage rise for 3 years they just let him go rather than tell him and pay him a 9% rise . Its unthinkable they would do that as its so counter productive.
It just shows the double standards of the government

by David Lovegrove

19:07 PM, 18th July 2019, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Jonathan Clarke at 18/07/2019 - 15:06
As historic LHA rates are available to view i guess with sufficient time it would be possible to identify those authorities that have had an uplift.
I am surprised your authority did not automatically pay you, did you have to ask them to increase it for you !
Getting the extra allowance of course does not mean you collect more in rent, it could be that your tenant now pays less of a top up.
If other landlords are aware of other authorities that have increased their allowances i would be interested to know which.
From a tenants prospective, paying unnecessary top ups should be a source of complaint.

by David Lovegrove

19:20 PM, 18th July 2019, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by David Lovegrove at 18/07/2019 - 19:07
Well that was rather annoying .
I have just checked out Gov.Uk -LHA rates from April 2019 To March 2020 and this includes a long list in table 3 of BRMA locations that were given an uplift of LHA of 3% by Targeted Affordability Funding (TAF) .
My authority is one of the minority that has had no uplift !

by Old Mrs Landlord

22:27 PM, 18th July 2019, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by David Lovegrove at 18/07/2019 - 19:20So is mine, wouldn't you know it. However, thanks for directing us to that table David.

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