Maximising Housing Allowance

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10 years ago
We have 5 tenants in one of our houses. All have learning disablities and receive either middle rate or higher rate DLA care. Due to the level of disability of a couple of the tenants in particular there is a waking night and 'sleep in' cover at the house. As a result of a change in the HA rules in approximately 2011 all five tenants have the possibility of benefiting from the 2 bedroom rate. We as Landlords have not taken maximum advantage of the change and not charged the 2 bedroom rate. Currently we are charging approximately £13pw per person less than the 2 bedroom rate. In April 2014 it will be the anniversary date for a rent increase. We last increased rents two years ago and by a small sum - the only occasion in over 5 years since the tenancies inception. We would like to increase the rent this April, but we do not want to be viewed as 'abusing the system' by increasing the rents to the 2 bedroom rate allowance. In fact we are thinking of an increase of about 5% in total for the 2 year period that has elapsed since the last increase. We can find no specific rules concerning this issue. Can you advise what we are or are not entitled to do. We are a charity and therefore non-profit making and we are only concerned to service a very substantial loan taken out to buy the property.

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