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From 1 April 2011 the Government will:
Reduce the Local Housing Allowance rates to a lower amount so that about 3 in 10 properties for rent in the area should be affordable to people on Housing Benefit rather than 5 in 10 properties as now. The new rates will be at what is known as the 30th Percentile.
The Government also intends to make a change to help disabled people who have a carer who stays overnight but who doesn't normally live with them. The change means that your Housing Benefit will take into account the cost of an additional bedroom providing you rent a property which has a bedroom for your carer.
If you are renting from a private landlord and you made your claim for Housing Benefit at your current address on or after the 7 April 2008 it is likely that you will be affected by these changes.
Providing you continue to live in the same property and you don't have a break in your Housing Benefit claim the Local Housing Allowance arrangements will not apply to you. If you move rooms or flats within the property, you will be affected.
The caps will not affect people who are renting properties in Bournemouth. However, if you move out of Bournemouth you should contact the Council to where you are moving, to check if the caps apply in their area.
You can use the following information as a guide to work out how many bedrooms you are allowed. You are allowed one bedroom for:
The maximum allowance is for four bedrooms from 1 April 2011.
Different rules may apply if you are under 35 or live in shared accommodation.
The maximum Housing Benefit you get will be based on the four bedroom rate. You can still look for properties with more than four bedrooms, or other rooms that can be used as bedrooms, with rents that are within the four bedroom rate.
The one bedroom Local Housing Allowance rate will normally apply to you. However, different rules may apply if you are under 35 or live in shared accommodation. The age level for the shared room rate of LHA will apply to all single people under the age of 35, who do not have children. You may need to consider if you will still be able to afford the rent after this date.
The anniversary date sets the LHA rate for a year. This is normally a year from the date of your claim. However, if you move, have a child, a non-dependant adult joins or leaves your home and the LHA rate changes, the anniversary date will then be one year after this change happens.
You can talk to your landlord about the changes and see if they will drop the rent on your property. If that isn't possible you could start looking for somewhere cheaper. You might want to talk about your situation with our Housing Solutions team|, Housing Benefit department| or the Citizens Advice Bureau|.
We will be able to help some people with a Discretionary Housing Payment to meet the gap between their benefit entitlement and the rent they pay. The amount of money available for these payments is limited so we will have to consider your circumstances carefully.
If your Housing Benefit is changed, you will receive a letter explaining the new level of benefit and when it applies from.
No. This change applies to all tenants who meet the qualifying conditions and live in privately rented accommodation no matter how their Housing Benefit is worked out.
You will need to tell us that you have an overnight carer so that we can look at your Housing Benefit entitlement again. You must already have an extra bedroom in your home available for the carer to use before you get this help. If you are already getting Housing Benefit and meet the conditions for this extra help you will be entitled to it from the date the legislation becomes effective.
The change only applies where the person making the Housing Benefit claim, or their partner, needs overnight care.
For more details please contact us|.
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