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I’ve been trying to find BRMA data , interested in what the data set used to produce LHA rates is and how local social rents compare.
Do any of you know where i can find this?
In addition it’s becoming increasingly common for social providers in my area to add service charges in addition to the actual rent, surely this is just a cynical ploy to increase income and distort the headline numbers when comparisons are made between different rented providers.
Just Google LHA rate for any postcode - the underlying data is shown
Remember though that LHA was capped/frozen in April 2012 at 30th percentile
LHA/BRMA is purely for Private Rentals and Social Rents are totally excluded.
In London/SE Social Rents may be 40% or less of comparable Private Rent.
In parts of Midlands/North there can be far greater parity - in some cases SRS higher than PRS.
In large cities, setting LHA City Wide may not be right. Council may end up paying too much or too little housing benefit compared to local market affordability
So they set up broad rental market areas (BRMA).
I think Valuation Office Agency (VOA) design the areas.
I also think VOA assesses the market to determine the market rent in the area.
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Since 2012 when LHA was frozen - it was also officially disconnected from any further reference to actual local rents.
LHA today is therefore just a discount for claimants - and in SE no longer covers self contained rentals.
London has many dozens of separate LHA rates by individual postcodes
The LHA rates were frozen not in 2012 but in 2016 for 4 years
2012 was when the BRMA became based on the 30th percentile rather than the 50th
It meant that it still rose each year for most properties / areas but not by as much in previous years
The VOA set the original BRMA rates in the allocated areas using a selection of local data
In our area it was challenge in one year by a large LA as the rates set was clearly under stating the actual market rates applicable
In some areas LHA rates were in effect unfrozen due to special measures introduced as so many people were getting evicted
I forget the technical name for this top up
My area was one such area though
In addition now you have DHP which takes up the slack for LHA frozen rates and HB caps etc
Jonathan Clarke. http://www.buytoletmk.com
The 2016 freeze was I thought the more general freeze across all welfare.
I know that in 2012 when LHA went to 30th percentile for new claimants the plan was that LHA would rise by ref to CPI
LHA for my location seems to have increased by 6% over past 3 yrs and remains about 20% below average rent
I`m not aware of a general freeze other than welfare austerity driven cuts maybe .
But LHA was def specifically frozen for 4 years at that time in April 2016
I cant blame them as LHA rates when i started were well ahead of private rents in the sink estates
And yes the 30th percentile was to put the brakes on as well
But private rents rose quite steeply
The Gov hoped I guess that we would just accept below market rents
But that was never going to happen so they had to raise LHA rates / other funding through the back door in some areas
They used to send me notification automatically of the rent increases in April but when it was frozen they stopped
It was only by accident I heard that they had raised them again this April by 3% so naturally I applied for it
Its specifically the BRMA data i was after, as LHA is set at 30 percentile it does nothing to help work out what market rents are in an area, then from that determine how social / affordable rents compare.
All i can find on social/ affordable rents is that affordable rents can be upto 80% of the market rent and that social rents will be lower.
Gives the social housing available and rents applicable and they can be referenced to LHA , from these it seems that providers could well be trying to get rents increased by adding service charges, though i realise that in some cases this will be because water rates are effectively collected by the housing provider.
What exactly is the purpose of your enquiry around the relative level of private/social rents?