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  • FIRST POST
    • fc123
    • By fc123 14th Oct 16, 8:14 PM
    • 6,393Posts
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    fc123
    HB does it cover service charge in sheltered housing?
    • #1
    • 14th Oct 16, 8:14 PM
    HB does it cover service charge in sheltered housing? 14th Oct 16 at 8:14 PM
    Hi as per the title, my MIL has been offered a sheltered housing flat (and it's perfect and she wants to accept it though the official viewing isn't until next Tuesday) however the rent and service charge is cut up as follows;
    Rent; £131.42
    Service charge; £59.
    She is currently in a private rental and the LHA for the area for 1 person is £161.02 pwk.

    The flat she has been offered is 2 bed, though she put 1 bed reqd on the form and has been assisted throughout this whole process by a care-worker. They know she is single so I can't see they have made an error.

    She is fretting about the service charge as she is on state pension and pension credit.
    I have googled and come across something called 'Supported people grant'. Does she claim this? Or would she receive the LHA of £161.02 and then have to top it up out of her pension income?

    The sheltered housing is new build and has been offered through the council but is a HA I think.
Page 1
    • Tommo1980
    • By Tommo1980 14th Oct 16, 8:20 PM
    • 88 Posts
    • 85 Thanks
    Tommo1980
    • #2
    • 14th Oct 16, 8:20 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Oct 16, 8:20 PM
    She would need to get a full breakdown of the service charge as some will likely be covered by HB.

    Tom
    Last edited by Tommo1980; 17-10-2016 at 11:34 PM.
    • Tommo1980
    • By Tommo1980 14th Oct 16, 8:23 PM
    • 88 Posts
    • 85 Thanks
    Tommo1980
    • #3
    • 14th Oct 16, 8:23 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Oct 16, 8:23 PM
    http://www.entitledto.co.uk/help/Eligible-rent-for-Housing-Benefit-and-service-charges

    Tom
    • squiggles
    • By squiggles 14th Oct 16, 8:56 PM
    • 1,045 Posts
    • 1,997 Thanks
    squiggles
    • #4
    • 14th Oct 16, 8:56 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Oct 16, 8:56 PM
    Does your local council have a web site explaining what's included in the service charges? I've had a look on the shelter web site and things like lift repairs are included but others like care alarms are not.

    I don't know if this new rule will be implemented in the future but there's media reports of pensioners being included for what is commonly known as the bedroom tax.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/bedroom-tax-pensioners-social-housing-housing-crisis-council-houses-a7340136.html?amp

    If I was a pensioner I would take the flat regardless of the service charge and possible spare bedroom charges and see if I could cut costs elsewhere in my budget. It's got to be more secure than a private rental. If at a later date that I couldn't manage my budget then at least I would be able to do a house exchange with someone. I would hold the trump card as I would not be living in a brand new house and I don't think I would be short of offers for a house swap, I would get the pick of the crop so to speak.

    Hope everything works out well with whatever choice is made.
    Last edited by squiggles; 14-10-2016 at 9:02 PM. Reason: To add a word in the sentence
    • nannytone
    • By nannytone 14th Oct 16, 9:27 PM
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    nannytone
    • #5
    • 14th Oct 16, 9:27 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Oct 16, 9:27 PM
    Does your local council have a web site explaining what's included in the service charges? I've had a look on the shelter web site and things like lift repairs are included but others like care alarms are not.

    I don't know if this new rule will be implemented in the future but there's media reports of pensioners being included for what is commonly known as the bedroom tax.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/bedroom-tax-pensioners-social-housing-housing-crisis-council-houses-a7340136.html?amp

    If I was a pensioner I would take the flat regardless of the service charge and possible spare bedroom charges and see if I could cut costs elsewhere in my budget. It's got to be more secure than a private rental. If at a later date that I couldn't manage my budget then at least I would be able to do a house exchange with someone. I would hold the trump card as I would not be living in a brand new house and I don't think I would be short of offers for a house swap, I would get the pick of the crop so to speak.

    Hope everything works out well with whatever choice is made.
    Originally posted by squiggles
    exchanging wouldn't be so easy as sheltered housing is for specific groups only
    • baza52
    • By baza52 14th Oct 16, 9:44 PM
    • 1,951 Posts
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    baza52
    • #6
    • 14th Oct 16, 9:44 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Oct 16, 9:44 PM
    you would not get LHA for a HA property. It would be HB.
    • foolofbeans
    • By foolofbeans 15th Oct 16, 1:25 PM
    • 251 Posts
    • 334 Thanks
    foolofbeans
    • #7
    • 15th Oct 16, 1:25 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Oct 16, 1:25 PM
    I work at a retirement development and one of the residents receives financial assistance with paying the service charge and that is for a bought property so there must be help out there for people renting.
    I'm afraid I'm not sure what help it is they receive but they send off the service charge cost info every 6 months.
    I thought the bedroom tax didn't apply to pensioners?
    • tboo
    • By tboo 15th Oct 16, 7:11 PM
    • 378 Posts
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    tboo
    • #8
    • 15th Oct 16, 7:11 PM
    • #8
    • 15th Oct 16, 7:11 PM
    you would not get LHA for a HA property. It would be HB.
    Originally posted by baza52
    No, she wouldn't

    Housing Benefit is the name for the service that helps the council pay rents - be it social, HA's or private rents etc
    LHA is for private rents
    Rent rebates are for social rents - council owned properties
    HA's come under social rents so are paid whatever the rent is excluding non-eligible service charges.

    The full breakdown has to be given along with the tenancy agreement - it may well be in the back. But some council have to ask the HA's for the breakdown so they can disregard the non-eligible charges
    If it's a new build then more than likely they will have given it already

    If your MIL is a pensioner then she won't be under the 'bedroom tax' and will get the rent; £131.42 minus any service charges if any


    ----------------------------------------------------------
    “Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.”
    ----------------------------------------------
    • tyler2027
    • By tyler2027 15th Oct 16, 8:27 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    tyler2027
    • #9
    • 15th Oct 16, 8:27 PM
    • #9
    • 15th Oct 16, 8:27 PM
    Currently the system is housing benefits, with the "bedroom tax" rules for social tenants, and local housing allowance for private tenants.


    Social housing tenants may have the "bedroom tax" applied if under the criteria. Currently pensioners are exempt from this spare room charge.


    Private tenants are restricted to local housing allowance, ie a single person gets a maximum allowance of the one bedroom rate for their area if they are over 35. As long as their rent meets or is under this rate it does not matter if what they rent is a one bed or two bed.


    For people who are existing tenants in social housing they will not be affected by the new rules that are coming into force in 2018.


    The rules will apply to anyone who has signed a new tenancy from April 2016.


    The rules are:-


    - the local housing allowance rate will be applied to the social tenant. This will apply in the same way, ie under 35 its the shared allowance rate, and for single people over 35 its the one room rate. This will apply to all tenants, including pensioners. They will be ok if their rent is the LHA rate or lower, regardless on the amount of bedrooms. The problem will be is if their social rent is higher than the LHA allowance.......the more bedrooms the higher the rent.




    Its predicted that many social housing tenants wont be affected as the rents are usually cheaper than those in the private sector. However, the two groups predicted to be affected are the under 35s whose LHA shared room rate may be less than the rent for a one bed council place.


    The other group is those with a new tenancy in expensive social housing. An example is those with affordable rents rather than social rents. Social rents are the cheapest, affordable rents are based on charging 80% of the going private rent for equivelant properties.


    This site explains it well


    https://www.wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk/tenants/money-and-benefits/benefits/new-tenancy-housing-benefit-changes/housing-benefit-changes





    This also helps
    http://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/10312/




    Despite these changes, I agree with the poster who says take the 2 bed flat. It may be that a pensioner might be able to apply for a discretionary top up....worst case scenario they may have to top up the difference.........but if in a private rental they may have to do that anyway. At least the social housing gives security of tenancy.

    However, please note that sheltered schemes are the subject of much debate at the moment with regard to the new rules.


    http://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/9392/P90



    Ty
    Last edited by tyler2027; 15-10-2016 at 8:43 PM.
    • boliston
    • By boliston 15th Oct 16, 8:43 PM
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    boliston
    Does your local council have a web site explaining what's included in the service charges? I've had a look on the shelter web site and things like lift repairs are included but others like care alarms are not.

    I don't know if this new rule will be implemented in the future but there's media reports of pensioners being included for what is commonly known as the bedroom tax.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/bedroom-tax-pensioners-social-housing-housing-crisis-council-houses-a7340136.html?amp

    If I was a pensioner I would take the flat regardless of the service charge and possible spare bedroom charges and see if I could cut costs elsewhere in my budget. It's got to be more secure than a private rental.......
    Originally posted by squiggles
    The "security" would depend purely on the type of tenancy - if it's an "assured shorthold tenancy" then it will be for a fixed term but if it is an "assured tenancy" the tenant will have security of tenure effectively for life as long as they pay their rent and abide by the terms of the lease.
    • nannytone
    • By nannytone 15th Oct 16, 9:04 PM
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    nannytone
    The "security" would depend purely on the type of tenancy - if it's an "assured shorthold tenancy" then it will be for a fixed term but if it is an "assured tenancy" the tenant will have security of tenure effectively for life as long as they pay their rent and abide by the terms of the lease.
    Originally posted by boliston
    an assured shorthold tenancy in social housing will be renewed as lomng as the tenant isn't in breech of their tenancy agreement and still meets the criteria for renting the property.

    so compared to a private rental, is still a very secure way of renting.

    you can be forced out of a private rental after the tenancy period with no reason at all
    • boliston
    • By boliston 15th Oct 16, 9:10 PM
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    boliston
    an assured shorthold tenancy in social housing will be renewed as lomng as the tenant isn't in breech of their tenancy agreement and still meets the criteria for renting the property.

    so compared to a private rental, is still a very secure way of renting.

    you can be forced out of a private rental after the tenancy period with no reason at all
    Originally posted by nannytone
    Surely as long as the tenancy is an "assured tenancy" then the fact that it a private rental or social housing would make no difference to the actual security of tenure as an assured tenancy is effectively "for life" ?
    • Gpod
    • By Gpod 16th Oct 16, 1:15 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    Gpod
    Does your local council have a web site explaining what's included in the service charges? I've had a look on the shelter web site and things like lift repairs are included but others like care alarms are not.

    I don't know if this new rule will be implemented in the future but there's media reports of pensioners being included for what is commonly known as the bedroom tax.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/bedroom-tax-pensioners-social-housing-housing-crisis-council-houses-a7340136.html?amp
    Originally posted by squiggles
    Under these new rules, if all of the service charges in the OP are deemed to be included in a housing benefit payment, the tenant will be liable for a rent shortfall of £29.40 per week from April 2018.
    • Prinzessilein
    • By Prinzessilein 16th Oct 16, 2:21 PM
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    Prinzessilein
    I live in sheltered housing.

    I get HB which covers most, but not all of my rent. I get no help towards the service charge.

    Perhaps you could talk to the warden/site manager? They will know what is/is not covered by HB.
    • nannytone
    • By nannytone 16th Oct 16, 4:47 PM
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    nannytone
    Surely as long as the tenancy is an "assured tenancy" then the fact that it a private rental or social housing would make no difference to the actual security of tenure as an assured tenancy is effectively "for life" ?
    Originally posted by boliston
    of course it makes a difference.

    a social housing landlord is not looking for profits and to maximise their rental income.

    unless you break the rules of the tenancy, you tenancy is secure.

    renting privately, usually from an individual, you are at the mercy of any changes in their own personal circumstances.

    you can be evicted at the end of your tenancy term for no reason at all other than the agreement period has ended
    • boliston
    • By boliston 16th Oct 16, 7:30 PM
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    boliston
    of course it makes a difference.

    a social housing landlord is not looking for profits and to maximise their rental income.

    unless you break the rules of the tenancy, you tenancy is secure.

    renting privately, usually from an individual, you are at the mercy of any changes in their own personal circumstances.

    you can be evicted at the end of your tenancy term for no reason at all other than the agreement period has ended
    Originally posted by nannytone
    I am talking about an "assured tenancy" which has NO fixed term - this essentially means the tenant has security of tenure FOR LIFE regardless of who the landlord might be (private or social housing)
    • nannytone
    • By nannytone 16th Oct 16, 7:34 PM
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    nannytone
    I am talking about an "assured tenancy" which has NO fixed term - this essentially means the tenant has security of tenure FOR LIFE regardless of who the landlord might be (private or social housing)
    Originally posted by boliston
    ive never heard of a secure 'for life' tenancy in the private sector.
    if there are any, they will be as rare as hens teeth
    • boliston
    • By boliston 16th Oct 16, 8:16 PM
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    boliston
    ive never heard of a secure 'for life' tenancy in the private sector.
    if there are any, they will be as rare as hens teeth
    Originally posted by nannytone
    Not so common but they are available, however if I was a property investor I would like the extra rent that an AT can command compared with an AST - you are looking at a 10-15% uplift for the extra lifetime security.
    • nannytone
    • By nannytone 16th Oct 16, 8:24 PM
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    nannytone
    Not so common but they are available, however if I was a property investor I would like the extra rent that an AT can command compared with an AST - you are looking at a 10-15% uplift for the extra lifetime security.
    Originally posted by boliston
    this thread is about housing benefit.

    considering LHA only covers the lowest third of the private rental sector, where do you think people will get the extra money necessary for this 'secure' tenancy?

    where i live, there are NO 1 bed properties for private let that fall within the LHA rates ( being between 20 and 40 £ a week more) then another £15 or £20 a week on top of that for a little security?

    they may as well be asking for hundreds
    • boliston
    • By boliston 16th Oct 16, 9:30 PM
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    • 1,300 Thanks
    boliston
    this thread is about housing benefit.

    considering LHA only covers the lowest third of the private rental sector, where do you think people will get the extra money necessary for this 'secure' tenancy?

    where i live, there are NO 1 bed properties for private let that fall within the LHA rates ( being between 20 and 40 £ a week more) then another £15 or £20 a week on top of that for a little security?

    they may as well be asking for hundreds
    Originally posted by nannytone
    I can't see anything wrong with a tenant having to make a modest contribution towards their rent as long as it's within their budget.
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