The Government is imposing lower caps on household benefits. This is the next stage in their attempts to force more people into work and to ensure they are better off in work. For some families this will have a dramatic impact on their finances and they will have to make changes. If they do not, they may find it difficult to pay their rent. If you have tenant families who are not exempt you are advised to talk to them soon especially if they are inclined to put off difficult decisions. The caps will apply some time after November 7th. DWP are writing to everyone they expect to be affected.
It is expected that the impact of reducing the cap from £26,000 to £20,000 will be significantly greater than under the previous cap. DWP estimate 182 families living in private rented accommodation in Portsmouth will lose benefits. 132 will lose over £50 and 47 will lose over £100 per week. 146 are lone parent families. Some families may be able to change their circumstances to become exempt. In the interim, if the tenant is working towards a solution, they can apply for Discretionary Housing Payments to prevent them falling into arrears. Advise affected tenants to seek advice and support now. Increased levels of support are now available at Job Centres. Portsmouth are piloting free childcare to assist getting people back into work.
This presentation prepared for Portsmouth landlords explains the details. LHA rates are the same in Havant and Gosport and the cap will be applied nationally with higher levels only applicable in London.
Written & oral information and advice from the Portsmouth & District Private Landlord's Association is given in good faith, but no responsibility whatsoever is accepted by the Association or it's officers for the accuracy of it's information & advice nor shall the Association be held responsible for the consequences of reliance upon such information.