Garden Maintenance Scheme

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    One of our Housing Associations has been in contact to advise they are thinking about offering elderly and disabled tenants only a Garden Maintenance scheme.

    My concern is the scheme is only being offered to certain tenants, not all.
    They want to confirm if the charges is eligible for HB and I would like other opinions before I go back to them?


    I think it depends on how the scheme is set up.
    Could be met be HB but only if payment is a condition of tenancy, rather than an optional extra. By your posting, there is an implication that this will be offered, and therefore optional, and therefore would not be eligible under HB regs.
    If they make it compulsory, what happens to those people, (perhaps younger and more able bodied) who do not want to pay for this. Will they have to?
    If you feel it is a condition of tenancy, it can be met, so long as it is a reasonable amount, and if you think it excessive, you can designate a reasonable amount, and the rest becomes ordinary “rent” to be considered in the normal way. 8)

    But be careful – it is difficult for you to give a full and binding answer on this hypothetical situation – as you may say yes, then find some detail, at a later stage which stops you from paying.
    I would think hard about giving anything other than a broad, general answer for that reason.


    Jon is right in his response.

    However my reservation would be the selective clientele to which this service is offered and this is where I would be inclined not to consider it as a service charge as an integral condition of an individual tenant’s charge and more of a response to an “advert through the door” for gardening services.

    The HA, in my view, needs to be more specific before you can give a definitive answer.

    Do I know what I'm doing? The jury's out on that........................


    Okay thanks to you both for that. I will contact HA with a general, broad response and advise them to be more specific if they take it further.



    Just to add a wee bit in!

    I used to work for a HA which offered a scheme to tenants to help them maintain their gardens and I’m now working for the Council which administers their HB. The scheme is voluntary and is not a condition of their tenancy and therefore is not eligible for HB.

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