MRAssociates — Knowledge base
We provide the only free knowledge base in the UK dedicated to Supported Exempt Accommodation
In the same topic…
- contentWhere does the law define “exempt accommodation”?
- contentWhat is the social sector LHA?
- contentWhat is the history of exempt accommodation?
- contentWhat is Supported Exempt Accommodation?
- contentWhat is disguised profit?
- contentWhat is an asset lock?
- contentWhat is a non-metropolitan county council in England?
- contentWhat is a housing association?
- contentWhat is a DWP resettlement grant?
- contentWhat are the benefit limits from which exempt accommodation is exempt?
- contentWhat are the advantages of exempt accommodation?
- contentWhat is a voluntary organisation?
- contentTell me more about registered housing associations and exempt accommodation
- contentTell me more about registered societies
- contentWhat is exempt accommodation?
- contentHow is housing benefit calculated when a person living in exempt accommodation is employed?
- contentHow is Housing Benefit calculated for exempt accommodation?
- contentHow is accommodation “provided by” a social or voluntary sector landlord?
- contentHow does the taper work for employed claimants living in exempt accommodation? (Figures)
- contentWhat is the law on exempt accommodation subsidy?
- contentSubsidy calculation when the landlord is a registered housing association
- contentHow do the housing benefit subsidy arrangements work in exempt accommodation
- contentWhat does “not trading for profit” mean?
- contentSubsidy calculation when the landlord is a charity, voluntary organisation or English non-metropolitan county council
- contentWhich landlords count as being in the social or voluntary sector?
- contentWhat is a registered charity?
- contentCan a not-for-profit body buy goods and services from its own members and directors?
- contentWhere does the law define exempt work?
- contentExamples of subsidy for exempt accommodation
Why is exempt accommodation exempt from benefit limits?
There are good reasons why exempt accommodation is exempt from benefit limits.
Charitable or voluntary sector tenants
Both the Local Reference Rent and the Local Housing Allowance represent average market rents for various different property sizes. The figures take no account of any special requirements or extra running costs associated with the Housing Benefit/Universal Credit claimant’s need for care, support or supervision. Because the landlord has to cover these costs for the tenancy to remain viable, exempt accommodation status allows the local authority to pay a higher rate of benefit. Examples of special requirements and higher running costs include the following:
- If a tenant has physical disabilities it might be necessary to adapt the accommodation, for example by installing a wetroom or through-lift, or widening doorways to ensure adequate manoeuvring space for a wheelchair
- The accommodation might need to be in a certain location:
- Secluded so that tenants who exhibit challenging behaviour do not disturb their neighbours
- Away from busy roads or noisy playgrounds if tenants are very sensitive to noise
- Easily accessible by wheelchair - not just internally but on the approach to the dwelling
- The property might need expensive fixtures and fittings and equipment:
- Adjustable hospital-style beds
- Cooking and heating appliances that are safe to be used by people with learning disabilities, such as instant-cooling hobs
- Higher repair and maintenance costs associated with:
- Accidental damage caused by tenants with learning disabilities
- More rapid wear and tear of furniture caused by prolonged incorrect use (again associated with learning disabilities)
- Replacing items stolen by tenants which is a more likely occurrence when providing accommodation to certain client groups
Registered housing association tenants
A key policy intention behind the Maximum Rent (Social Sector), or “bedroom tax”, is to encourage tenants with spare bedrooms to consider moving to smaller accommodation. But the government recognises that there are likely to be good reasons why a person living in exempt accommodation might have an extra bedroom, including:
- Overnight visits from relatives who might have travelled a long way to visit the tenant
- Storage space for medical supplies or disability-related equipment
- Finding employment
- Taking in a lodger
The benefit cap can affect working age tenants in any rental market sector: private, voluntary sector or registered housing association. The policy intentions behind the benefit cap include incentivising people to seek work and encouraging people with expensive accommodation to move to a cheaper area. But for the reasons listed above neither of these options may be realistic in exempt accommodation and for good reasons the accommodation may well be more expensive than a general needs tenancy. Exempt accommodation is protected from the benefit cap by excluding Housing Benefit from the benefits that count towards the cap. This means that claimants living in exempt accommodation will very rarely be capped.