Annex B: Glossary of Terms
- Broad Rental Market Area ( BRMA) – a Broad Rental Market Area for Local Housing Allowance purposes is defined as an area in which a person could reasonably be expected to live having regard to facilities and services for the purposes of health, education, recreation, personal banking and shopping, taking account of the distance of travel, by public and private transport, to and from those facilities and services. There are 18 Broad Rental Market Areas in Scotland. A map is given in the Section on Broad Rental Market Area Profiles. It is also possible to search for the Broad Rental Market Area associated with a particular postcode at http://lha-direct.voa.gov.uk/search.aspx.
- Local Housing Allowance ( LHA) – the Local Housing Allowance ( LHA) system provides a way of working out Housing Benefit for claimants who rent from a private landlord. Local authorities use LHA rates based on the size of household and the area in which a person lives to work out the amount of rent which can be met with Housing Benefit. Information on current LHA calculations and rates is published at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Built-Environment/Housing/privaterent/tenants/Local-Housing-Allowance.
- Local Reference Rents ( LRR) – the Local reference rent is a mid-point (reached by adding the highest and lowest non exceptional rents together and dividing by 2).
- Lower Quartile – the lower quartile is a way of summarising the spread of rental values into a single figure, and represents (for each particular area and size of property) the rental value at which 25% of rents are below this figure and 75% of rents are above it.
- Market Evidence Database – the database that holds lettings information collected as part of the Rent Service Scotland’s responsibility to administer the rent officer functions related to Housing Benefit (Local Housing Allowance and Local Reference Rents).
- Mean – a measure of central tendency often referred to as the average. Given a series of values the arithmetic mean is calculated by summing all these values together and dividing by the count of these values.
- Median – when a series of numbers are arranged by order of magnitude the median represents the middle value (i.e. 50% of rents are below this and 50% of rents are above it). Where there is an even number of values the median is the mean of the two values closest to value in the centre of that distribution.
- Rent Officer – an independent, statutory officer appointed by Scottish Ministers. They are responsible for providing advice to Local Authorities in assessing claims for Housing Benefit made before 7th April 2008; undertaking Fair Rent valuations for regulated tenancies; gathering rental information; analysing local rental markets to provide Local Authorities with Local Housing Allowance figures and maintaining the Rent Service Scotland ‘Market Evidence Database’.
- Upper Quartile – the upper quartile is a way of summarising the spread of rental values into a single figure, and represents the rental value at which 75% of rents are below this figure and 25% of rents are above it.