Exempt accomodation – womens refuge

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    I know this has come up a few times before.

    Our Womens Refuge is an RSL. It generally consists of large properties where individual rooms are let (at a very high rent). There is no support charge included in the rent. The support that they say they provide includes free counselling, legal surgeries, safety and support planning. It would seem that they are not necessarily providing a vast amount of care and support, and in some cases if the customer chose not to use the services they wont be providing any support at all.

    We have always treated these as standard RSL cases (presumably on the basis that the care and support is not more than minimal). I just wondered what other people's opinions of this are please?

    Andy Thurman

    Because your landlord here is a not-for-profit RP (i.e. an RSL), the level of care and support is only really relevant as a factor in deciding whether you should be referring the rent and how you would use the subsequent ROD if you have to ask for one.
    The high rent will be based on void/management costs etc. being genuinely and necessarily higher than general needs housing. (There may well also be a lease cost of a significant amount if the provider doesn’t own suitable properties.) Assuming you have made a proper decision that the rents are not “unreasonably high” (which hopefully you have and can justify), they are simply RP/RSL expenditure – no referral required (subsidy cell 102).
    If the rents are truly astronomical, have an urgent meeting with the RP to discuss! If you do have to refer as “unreasonably high”, the decision on level of support will then be pivotal as it will determine whether the local reference rent will apply or “exempt” rules apply.


    Also, remember the cap will apply to many of these claims from April 2013 (unless the individual claimant is exempt).


    Thanks Andy. I though we needed to establish whether or not they should be “exempt accomodation” as per A8/2008 and refer them if they are giving support/care more than minimal? This will also affect under occupation because in some cases they are renting whole properties with more rooms than they require, if they are exempt then it won’t matter.

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