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The Universal Credit Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016

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PART 4Private rented sector and temporary accommodation

Application of Part 4

19.—(1) This Part applies to—

(a)renters who are liable to make rent payments to a person other than a provider of social housing, and

(b)renters who meet the occupation condition in respect of temporary accommodation (see paragraph 20).

(2) Sub-paragraph (1) applies irrespective of whether renters are also liable to make service charge payments.

Meaning of “temporary accommodation”

20.—(1) Accommodation is temporary accommodation for the purposes of paragraph 19(1)(b) if it falls within Case 1 or 2.

(2) Case 1 is where—

(a)rent payments are payable to the Housing Executive, and

(b)the Housing Executive makes the accommodation available to the renter—

(i)to discharge any of its functions under Part II of the Housing (Northern Ireland) Order 1988(1), or

(ii)to prevent the person being or becoming homeless within the meaning of Part II of that Order; and

(c)the accommodation is not exempt accommodation.

(3) Case 2 is where—

(a)rent payments are payable to a registered housing association,

(b)the registered housing association makes the accommodation available to the renter in pursuance of arrangements made with it by the Housing Executive—

(i)to discharge any of the Housing Executive’s functions under Part II of the Housing (Northern Ireland) Order 1988, or

(ii)to prevent the renter being or becoming homeless within the meaning of Part II of that Order, and

(c)the accommodation is not exempt accommodation.

(4) Sub-paragraph (1) applies irrespective of whether the renter is also liable to make service charge payments.

The calculation of the housing costs element under this Part

The amount of housing costs element under this Part

21.  The amount of the renter’s housing costs element under this Part is to be calculated as follows.

Step 1

Determine—

(a)the amount of the renter’s core rent, and

(b)the amount of the renter’s cap rent,

and identify which is the lower amount (if both amounts are the same, that is the identified amount).

Step 2

Deduct the sum of the housing cost contributions (if any) under paragraph 12 from the amount identified in step 1.

The result is the amount of the renter’s housing costs element calculated under this Part.

Core rent

22.  Except where paragraph 23 applies, the renter’s core rent is to be determined as follows—

Step 1

Determine the amount of each relevant payment to be taken into account under paragraph 5.

Step 2

Determine the period in respect of which each relevant payment is payable and, in accordance with paragraph 6, determine the amount of the payment in respect of a month.

Step 3

If there is more than one relevant payment, add together the amounts determined in step 2 in relation to all relevant payments.

The result is the renter’s core rent.

Core rent for joint tenants

23.—(1) This paragraph applies where, in respect of the accommodation occupied by the renter, one or more persons other than the renter are liable to make relevant payments which are of the same description as those for which the renter is liable and which are to be taken into account under paragraph 5.

(2) The following steps are to be taken in order to determine the renter’s core rent.

Step 1

Determine the total of all relevant payments referred to in sub-paragraph (1) for which the renter and others are liable in respect of the accommodation taken as a whole.

Step 2

Determine the period in respect of which each relevant payment is payable and, in accordance with paragraph 6, determine the amount of the payment in respect of a month.

Step 3

Add together all of the amounts determined in step 2 in relation to all relevant payments.

Step 4

Find the allocated amount in accordance with whichever of sub-paragraphs (3) to (5) applies in the renter’s case.

The result is the renter’s core rent.

(3) Where the only persons liable to make relevant payments are listed persons, the allocated amount is the amount resulting from step 3 in sub-paragraph (2).

(4) Where the persons liable for the relevant payments are one or more listed persons and one or more other persons, the allocated amount is to be found by applying the formula—

where—

“A” is the amount resulting from step 3 in sub-paragraph (2),

“B” is the total number of all persons (including listed persons) liable to make the relevant payments, and

“C” is the number of listed persons liable to make relevant payments.

(5) If the Department is satisfied that it would be unreasonable to allocate the amount resulting from step 3 in sub-paragraph (2) in accordance with sub-paragraph (4), that amount is to be allocated in such manner as it considers appropriate in all the circumstances, having regard (among other things) to the number of persons liable and the proportion of the relevant payments for which each of them is liable.

Cap rent

24.—(1) The renter’s cap rent is to be determined as follows.

Step 1

Determine the category of accommodation to which the renter is entitled under paragraphs 7 to 11 and paragraphs 25 to 28.

Step 2

Having regard to the determination at step 1, determine the maximum allowable amount for the renter under sub-paragraph (2) or (4) (as the case may be).

The result is the renter’s cap rent.

(2) The maximum allowable amount to be used in relation to the renter is the local housing allowance which applies at the relevant time to—

(a)the broad rental market area in which the renter’s accommodation is situated, and

(b)the category of accommodation determined at step 1 as that to which the renter is entitled.

(3) The maximum allowable amount in relation to the renter is to be determined under sub-paragraph (4) in any case where—

(a)paragraph 3 (claimant housed in two dwellings by provider of social housing) of Schedule 3 applies to the renter, and

(b)the maximum allowable amount determined under sub-paragraph (2) for the renter in relation to accommodation A and the amount so determined in relation to accommodation B are different (references to accommodation A and accommodation B are to be understood in accordance with paragraph 3 of Schedule 3), and

(c)a single calculation is to be made in relation to the renter under paragraph 16 (renter treated as occupying single accommodation).

(4) In any such case, the maximum allowable amount to be used in making the single calculation required by paragraph 16—

(a)is to be determined by reference to the accommodation for which the amount referred to in sub-paragraph (3)(b) is lower when the calculation is first made, and

(b)is to continue to be determined by reference to that accommodation for so long as paragraph 3 of Schedule 3 applies to the renter in respect of the same accommodation A and the same accommodation B, and

(c)is to be re-determined in accordance with paragraphs (a) and (b) on each occasion when the renter is re-housed in any other accommodation, provided that paragraph 3 of Schedule 3 continues to apply to the renter.

(5) In this paragraph—

“broad rental market area” means the broad rental market area to be determined under regulation 3 of the UC Housing Costs Regulations;

“local housing allowance” in relation to a broad rental market area, means the amount to be determined by a rent officer for that area under regulation 4 of the UC Housing Costs Regulations;

“relevant time” means the time at which the amount of the renter’s housing costs element is calculated under paragraph 21.

Further provisions about size criteria for cases to which this Part applies

Four bedroom limit

25.  In calculating the amount of a renter’s housing costs element under paragraph 21, no renter is entitled to more than 4 bedrooms.

Specified renters entitled to shared accommodation only

26.—(1) In calculating the amount of a renter’s housing costs element under paragraph 21, any specified renter (within the meaning of paragraph 27) is entitled to shared accommodation only.

(2) Shared accommodation” means the category of accommodation specified in paragraph 1(a) of Schedule 1 to the UC Housing Costs Regulations.

Meaning of “specified renters”

27.—(1) For the purposes of paragraph 26 “specified renter” means a renter in respect of whom all of the following conditions are met.

(2) The first condition is that the renter is a single person (or a member of a couple claiming as a single person) who—

(a)is under 35 years old, and

(b)is not an excepted person under paragraph 28.

(3) The second condition is that the renter is not responsible for any children or qualifying young persons.

(4) The third condition is that no person is a non-dependant in relation to the renter.

Renters excepted from shared accommodation

28.—(1) “Excepted person” means any renter (“E”) who falls within any of sub-paragraphs (2) to (5).

(2) E is at least 18 but under 22 years old and was a care leaver (within the meaning of regulation 8) before reaching the age of 18.

(3) E is at least 25 but under 35 years old and—

(a)has, for a total of at least 3 months (whether or not continuously), lived in one or more hostels for homeless people, and

(b)whilst E was living in such a hostel, was offered and has accepted support services which the Department considers are intended to assist E to be rehabilitated or resettled within the community.

(4) E is under 35 years old and is in receipt of—

(a)the care component of disability living allowance at the middle or highest rate;

(b)attendance allowance, or

(c)the daily living component of personal independence payment.

(5) E is under 35 years old and he is the subject of risk management pursuant to arrangements established under Part 3 of the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland ) Order 2008(2)

(6) In this paragraph—

“care home”, “registered charity” and “voluntary organisation” have the meaning given in Schedule 1;

“hostel” means a building—

(a)

in which there is provided, for persons generally or for a class of persons, domestic accommodation, otherwise than in separate and self-contained premises, and either board or facilities for the preparation of food adequate to the needs of those persons, or both;

(b)

which is—

(i)

managed or owned by a registered housing association,

(ii)

operated other than on a commercial basis and in respect of which funds are provided wholly or in part by a government department or agency, the Housing Executive or a Regional Health and Social Care Board or Health and Social Care Trust , or

(iii)

managed by a voluntary organisation or registered charity and provides care, support or supervision with a view to assisting those persons to be rehabilitated or resettled within the community, and

(c)

which is not a care home;

“hostel for homeless people” means a hostel the main purpose of which is to provide accommodation together with care, support or supervision for homeless people with a view to assisting such persons to be rehabilitated or resettled within the community.

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