HB team or homeless services??

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    When a person is put in temporary accommodation by homeless services under the duties of Section 206 of the Housing Act 1996

    I’m just trying to find out who normally sets the rent.

    Do your benefit assessors look at B&B invoices and work out the ineligible charges for each case (bearing in mind there is just a nightly figure)

    Or do your homeless services deal with the invoices & decide the rent & services they are charging the tenant for housing them?

    I am trying to look through guidance & legislation & I’m getting nowhere – working out the subsidy is easy compared to working out what the eligible rent should be on these cases!

    Any help would be much appreciated.


    chris harvey

    In theory your homeless team have to secure accommodation for a homeless person and the team pay whatever they agree to the accommodation provider. What they decide to charge their tenant is the liability that the tenant has to pay against which benefit and subsidy are calculated. I would expect in most cases the homeless team would charge the tenant the same rent that the accommodation provider is charging the team, although I have seen situations where the the rent charged to the tenant is reduced after a period because they know the Benefits Office loses subsidy and the homeless team fund the gap between the actual rent the accommodation provider charges and the HB they receive.


    Thanks Chris,

    The issue I’m trying to resolve is that our external audit are very interested in these claims & we have had a bit of a nightmare sorting them out as you are aware we have quite a few!

    We are having to deduct VAT & then amend that on the 29th day & were coping with the changing rates in VAT, we have a list of B&B proformas as we use 5 or 6 establishments on a regular basis added to that is assessing the ineligible charges based on what the rateable value for water is in each property & each style of room it is an administrative nightmare really!

    My line of thinking is if homeless services told us the rent & ineligible services for each case then that is what external audit would verify us against rather than us having to work off each invoice and design proformas for staff to work out the ineligible charges which are inevitably not always followed consistently & then a proforma is wrong or outdated & you have another set of claims incorrect!

    Hope this makes sense!


    Housing benefit has no remit to tell ANY landlord what they can charge for rent. Good luck!


    I think I shall need it! 😉

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