furniture charge

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    Has anyone come across this before – any advice/comments would be appreciated.

    ALMO who deal with the tenancies for Council Properties have recently questionned the ‘furniture charge’ paid by HB.

    They have a furnished tenancy scheme that requires the tenant to have a furnished tenancy for the duration of the tenancy. The tenant cannot opt out of the furniture charge. It was mentioned that this may discourage the tenant to stop claiming HB. They may struggle to pay the rent and the furniture charge if they started work for example….

    The ALMO cannot let the tenant opt out of the furniture charge after a period (but still remain in the property) as the furniture charge would not be an eligible service from the outset – there is an intention that the furniture may become part of the claimants personal possessions.

    They are now suggesting to do a variation to these tenancies to remove the furniture charge after a certain period (approx 5 years). At this time they would either remove the furniture themselves or ask the tenant to dispose of the furniture (very possible the tenant could just keep the furniture anyway).

    If they introduced this variation after 5 years would the furniture charge be covered by HB from the outset? 😕


    This seems rather weird. Does the ALMO want you to stop covering the charge in HB then? If they are so concerned about it why don’t they just drop it? I do not see how you can do other than what you are doing with the HB assessment.

    Does the ALMO understand how HB tapers if someone starts work? The rent including the furniture charge may be high enough to give people in work some entitlement – if not then in theory the tenant should be able to meet the charge. Maybe they need to ensure that they are advising tenants to make sure they supply details of earnings to HB so that any in-work entitlement can be assessed. In any case I don’t see how you can stop covering the charge if the ALMO insists on making it.


    See also b) on this post. This idea of the tenant getting the furniture is sailing close to the wind ….

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