What is the Universal Credit maximum rent?

What is the Universal Credit maximum rent?

9:02 AM, 17th August 2022, About a month ago 11

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Hello everyone, How do landlords with long term tenants achieve the best rents when they let to tenants receiving Universal Credit?

I generally keep my rents low for existing tenants.

If they are paying the rent and looking after the property I’m happy and for peace of mind I’m happy to reward them for my peaceful life.

Many of them have been there for 5 years, some are over 10 years.

So with rents moving up significantly mainly due to the Governments own policies, I’ve noticed that my HB tenants were a long way adrift on the published BRMA rents.

Thankfully, my very easy solution was to serve a rent increase on my tenant and after he sent it to the council my rent was increased with no cost to my tenant.

My question is, can I do the same for Universal Credit applicants?

Do they use the same BRMA website rent values?

Thank you,

Roanch



Comments

Doug Ellison View Profile

10:34 AM, 17th August 2022, About a month ago

Hi Roanch
There is no difference between HB tenants and Universal Credit tenants in terms of how much rent will be paid.
This is set by the Local Housing Allowance for the area ie different rates if the tenant requires 1,2,3 beds etc.
If you look on the Council website for the area the property is in this will give you the rates.If you want to charge more than this you will have to get the excess from the tenants themselves which could be extremely difficult in the present time!!!

Paul McCarthy

11:14 AM, 17th August 2022, About a month ago

Agree with Doug, BUT, you can charge more than the LHA rates and advise your clients to contact the local council for a discretionary payment help. I recently increased my rents and advised the 18 tenants to do so, 17 were helped....

I issues a brand new AST and increased the rents £50 PCM to £500. Their LHA rate is £441 and the council made up the rest for a maximum 12 months, then they can reapply

Hope that helps.

Judith Wordsworth

11:50 AM, 17th August 2022, About a month ago

This is the maximum you can get from a local authority. You can charge more but the tenant will need to top up.
Don’t forget Housing Benefit/UC is paid 4 weekly in ARREARS but your tenancy might be monthly in ADVANCE
https://lha-direct.voa.gov.uk/Secure/Search.aspx

Mick Roberts View Profile

13:44 PM, 17th August 2022, About a month ago

I'm same boat as u, keeping rents low to have peaceful life.
I've got many tenants been with me over 20 years 25 years 15 years etc.

One thing I have been doing which may help, instead of giving rent increase from say £530pm which many are paying and all neighbours are £850pm, I'm saying on repairs, I cannot do u a 2022 repair on a 2007 rent.
I did tell u I have to give rent increase every year for inflation etc. And I've not done it trying to look after u. Now please be mindful of that when u ask for something. I'll still do your emergencies gas water elec etc., But your rent does not pay for these higher 2022 repairs inflation costs etc.
I say Don't go away and tell your mates he wants rent increase for doing me new kitchen, u tell em u should have had one every year and I'm effectively giving u £3000 per year which if u did save it, would more than cover all your repairs. Or just pay the required rent and I'll do your kitchen. They know I'm not being horrible, it's how it is with builders etc.

Some pay a touch more rent for a new fence etc., Most like the cheap rent and don't bother me. My repairs this year may go down from about 150k pa to 60k pa. Works both ways.

And like others say about u have Discretionary DHP etc.
As we all know, Govt ain't paying enough in HB to cover 2022 rents and repairs. Yet the same Govt and Councils want us to give the same low paying tenants New Build standards.

JB

16:50 PM, 17th August 2022, About a month ago

Please can anyone tell me what happens if a tenant is entitled to a 3 bedroom flat but only has a 2 bedroom flat?
Say the 2 bed rate is £750 the 3 bed rate is £850 and they rent a 2 bedroom flat for £800.

Doug Ellison View Profile

17:20 PM, 17th August 2022, About a month ago

I think you would only get the 2 bad rateie £750

Mick Roberts View Profile

17:20 PM, 17th August 2022, About a month ago

With HB when.these LHA rates first come out, some HB officers were getting all jealous and annoyed that some of us were putting people in a 2 bed house £469pm entitled to the 5 bed rate £992pm in 2008.
They objected and even declined but we all fought and the rate is the rate. Tenant and Landlord wants to do it, so what.

All u UC landlords, you'd be as well to join Bill Irvine's website https://universalcreditadvice.com/
Where all these questions are or get answered.

With UC, it's the same. Even more remote I guesa cause they that busy. The frontline Job Centre staff know very little about the Housing Element LHA rate and just pass that part on. They sometimes guess and tell tenant Ooh u won't get that, it's only a 3 bed house scaring the tenant, but as with most UC staff, they very often wrong.
At the moment, yes u can put people entitled to the 3 bed rate and charge em the FULL 3 bed rate and put them in a 2 bed house. I'd charge em the full 3 bed rate as there will be many years when we and tenant are underpaid, so get your just deserts when u can. We suffer enough majority of the time.
Specialists will tell u to charge just below the 3 bed rate ie. £845 so u can not be accused of taking advantage of the Beneift system.

Bill irvine View Profile

19:17 PM, 17th August 2022, About a month ago

Hi Roanch

The "Maximum Rent" under Universal Credit is ordinarily determined by comparing your "contractual rent"(CR) to your potential entitlement under what is called the "size criteria" (SC). Once compared, the lower figure applies.

JB's post @16.50 is a good example. Under the SC the tenant is entitled to the 3-bed rate, attracting an LHA of £850. However, the CR is only £800, so the CR figure is the maximum rent, not the LHA rate.

Doug in his 10.34 post makes the point, the LHA rates are exactly the same under HB and UC. However, the way in which the size criteria operates can often make significant differences. Example, Mick 56 lives in HMO and claims HB. As he's sharing the property with others, his LHA rate is restricted to the Shared Rate. Under UC, he would in the same circumstances qualify for the 1-bed rate. If he was living in London that could make the difference between £400 pcm to £1000-1200 depending on which part he lived.

One of my recent bulletins https://universalcreditadvice.com/articles/housing-benefit-appeal-success-for-99-75-year-old-joint-tenants/ highlighted a case of mother & daughter joint tenants (99 and 76 years old) where both qualified for the 3 bed rate due to them operating a common household with the need for an overnight carer. Under UC they would have been treated less generously.

DHP payments, nowadays, are becoming more difficult to secure because of the limited budgets, are not usually paid for lengthy periods, so can't be relied on. So well done Paul!

Other factors like, joint tenancies, non-dependent charges, the benefits cap, the means-test and "excess income" withdrawal rates can have an impact on how much the tenant receives in respect of their "housing costs" so the more you know about these issues, the less likely you'll lose out.

Bill

JB

8:04 AM, 18th August 2022, About a month ago

Thank you everyone for your replies. Its useful to know that tenants can choose my huge 2 bed flat over a small 3 bed flat and still get up to the 3 bed flat LHA for the contractual rent

Elaine Landlord

12:21 PM, 20th August 2022, About a month ago

At one time I like and helped LHA tenants
But now I only have a handful
I moved away when UC came
The short answer is I will keep and help what I have because I think it is the right thing to do
But LHA rates just won’t cover market rents
In my area there up by 30 since lock down lifted
So govt it’s over too you tax me more regulate me more and rents go up

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