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Local Housing Allowance Safeguard Policy

Overview

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) introduced LHA to provide tenants with more choice and responsibility about where they live and how they manage their own finances.

From April 2008, Local Housing Allowance (LHA) replaced Housing Benefit (HB) for most tenants renting property in the private sector.

The two main features of the scheme are:

Under LHA, tenants will have greater choice about where to live, without this affecting their benefit. In addition, tenants will also be able to keep some of the excess benefit, where the rate of LHA is more than their rent.

The DWP firmly believe that tenants should be responsible for receiving LHA themselves and paying their own rent, reflecting the way other welfare benefits are paid. Giving tenants responsibility for their own finances will improve their opportunities for accessing work.

Purpose of the policy

However, the DWP recognise that paying LHA directly to the tenant will not always be appropriate in every case.

Issues of vulnerability and the risk of a tenant not paying their rent should be safeguarded against. The purpose of the Safeguard Policy is to set out the Councils framework for determining the circumstances where payments of LHA will be made to the landlord, instead of the tenant.

Aims and objectives

The aims and objectives of this policy are to:

There are two main reasons why the Council may need to consider this policy:

View the Local Housing Allowance Safeguard Policy

Local Housing Allowance Safeguard Policy

From April 2008, Local Housing Allowance will replace Housing Benefit for most tenants renting property in the private sector.
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