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.


    Julian Stanbury


    For me, the local authority is the tenants landlord. I tend to think of it as follows, the head landlord has a propery, the local authority let it from them, then sublet it to the tenant (not entirely accurate, but it does me).

    So the local authority, as the landlord, sets the tenants rent.

    I would expect the Housing Service to set the rent, by following Housing Act 1996, section 206 para (2)(a), which i read as meaning the local authority may charge their tenant a reasonable rent.

    For me “reasonable” means affordable based on the property, tenure and maybe even the tenants circumstances. This means the local authority may pay a higher cost to rent the property than they charge to the tenant.

    The local authority, as landlord, should also specify any services that are ineligible, including food, though that would ineligible at standard rates rather than locally determined ones.

    The Housing Benefit decision maker then determines the eligible rent, and pays the appropriate Housing Benefit.

    I would suggest making the Housing Service aware of the subsidy limitations that now apply, in an effort to reduce the likelyhood of them taking on accommodation, then letting it, in such a way that exposes the local authority to a subsidy loss.


    Thanks Julian, those were the lines I was thinking along but I’m interested in hearing from any other authorities who wish to comment as I’m only judging on past experience!

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