Changes 1 April 2011

When is it changing?

From 1 April 2011 the Government made changes to Housing Benefit, for tenants renting from a landlord in the private sector. This does not include anyone renting from a Housing Association, e.g. Langstane.

Will this affect me?

Yes, if you are renting a property from a private landlord and receiving Housing Benefit and you made your claim for your current address on or after 7 April 2008

What is changing?

  • The maximum £15 weekly Housing Benefit excess that some people could get has ended. This means you will not be able to get more money from Housing Benefit than the amount you pay in rent.
  • There will no longer be a five bedroom Local Housing Allowance rate. The maximum level is for a four bedroom property.
  • There will be maximum rate caps, so that Local Housing Allowance weekly rates in any area cannot be more than certain amounts. These caps will probably only affect anyone living in London, and will not affect Moray.
  • The Local Housing Allowance rules will help disabled people who have a carer who stays overnight but who does not normally live with them. The change means that Housing Benefit will take into account the cost of an additional bedroom provided a property is rented which has a bedroom for the carer. You should tell us if you have an overnight carer so that we can look at your claim again.
  • The Government will reduce Local Housing Allowance rates to a lower amount, so that about 3 in 10 properties for rent in this area should be affordable to people on Housing Benefit. Previously about 5 in 10 properties in this area were affordable to people on Housing Benefit. This means that unless your rent is already one of the lowest 30% in Moray, the maximum LHA you can get will be less than your rent. To avoid rent arrears you will have to make up the difference.

To give you an idea of the effect they will have the table below shows what the LHA rates for March 2011 were compared to April 2011.


LHA rates for March 2011
March 2011
Shared room1 bedroom2 bedrooms3 bedrooms4 bedrooms5 bedrooms



LHA rates for April 2011
April 2011
Shared room1 bedroom2 bedrooms3 bedrooms4 bedrooms5 bedrooms
63.4690.00109.62126.92160.38not from April 2011


How will this affect me?

It is possible that the amount of Housing Benefit you get to pay your rent could go down. If your Housing Benefit is paid directly to your landlord, the amount your landlord gets could go down. If you are getting Housing benefit you need to consider these changes before you renew or make a new tenancy agreement with a private landlord.


When will this affect me?

  • Anyone making a new claim to Housing Benefit or moving home , the changes will take effect from 1 April 2011.
  • If you are already claiming Housing Benefit, you will normally have more time before your rate changes. If your circumstances don’t change, you will have nine months based on your current rate after your anniversary date on or after 1 April 2011
  • For instance if your next anniversary date is due in June 2011 the changes will not affect you until March 2012, 9 months later. But you cannot get more money in Housing Benefit than you pay in rent after your anniversary date,
  • The changes may affect you sooner if:

    • You are getting Housing Benefit and move home.
    • Your household changes, such as someone leaves or comes to live with you.


When is my anniversary date?

If you are currently receiving benefit can work this out from the date you made your original claim for Housing Benefit. For example:If you first made your claim for Housing Benefit on 5 September 2010 your anniversary date will be 5 September 2011.

Where to go for more information

Please contact us

  • You can get more information at External website logoDirectgov provides information on public service in one place including up to date information on the Housing Benefit changes.
  • The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is an executive agency of HM Revenue & Customs and holds information on local housing allowance, fair rents & council tax and many other related topics at External website logo
  • The Citizens Advice service provides a wide range of advice. Visit their website at External website logoDetails are Moray Citizens Advi ce Bureau, 30/32 Batchen Street, Elgin, IV30 1BH, Tel: 01343 550088, Email:
  • Shelter offers confidential housing, welfare benefits and debt advice through a network of advice services; freephone Housing Advice Helpline on 0808 800 4444 8am-8pm Monday-Friday and 8am-5pm Saturday-Sunday and online at  External website logo

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