Rent increase and housing benefit

Evening, I would be grateful if someone could help.

I moved into my 2 bedroom house in August last year with my young daughter. I am a single mum and work part time. The house is owned by an housing association (its one of those new build affordable homes) but managed by estate agents. When I moved in last year my rent was £425 a month and I was told my rent would only go up a couple of pounds a month with each review. I get some housing benefit. My LHA is £95 per week.

I have today received a letter from the estate agents saying my rent is going up to £520 per month from next month. This is because "this increase is necessary as your rent is currently below 80% of the open market value". I am livid to say the least as if I knew the rent would go up this much I would never have taken the house. However there is nothing I can do if my rent has been reviewed and this is what the market rent is (although being Housing Association I thought their properties were meant to be below market value but anyway...).

What I would like to know is will my housing benefit be adjusted to reflect the rent increase? I ask as I have seen some threads on the internet where the council has refused to increase the HB. I started claiming HB when I moved into this property and have had my HB reviewed twice due to changes in financial circumstances.

Does anyone know if my HB will be increased at the same time as my rent increase? Also due to my LHA being £95 a week will this mean my HB might not be able to increase anyway?

If anyone could help I would be grateful as £95 is a lot of money to find each month although I am grateful for what HB I get anyway.

Thanks in advance :)

Replies

  • It would depend if your property is being treated as social housing or private rented.

    If it is private rented then the LHA rate is the maximum you would get and it is only updated every April.

    If it is social housing then your HB would increase with your rent increases.
    These are my own views and you should seek advice from your local Benefits Department or CAB.
  • Thanks for your reply.

    I have just entered my details on entitled to website but this time with the new rent and it says my entitlement has increased by about £20. All my details were the same for my current HB claim except the rent. Does this mean that I would get an increase in HB or will they not consider it at all with the new rent being over the LHA of £95 a week (even though my current rent is £3 over the LHA threshold?).

    Thanks
  • Nada666Nada666 Forumite
    5K Posts
    'Affordable' homes to rent tend to be treated as private lets not social lets. As such you will probably only qualify for the LHA.
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides