Service Charges for Meals

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    Apologies if it’s obvious but….


    RSL charges £100.50 for hostel accommodation, included in this is £30.50 for meals. Now, the standard deduction is only £20.50 and apparently there is no discretion in this so how should the addtional £10.00 be treated? The “rent” of £70.00 is considered reasonable so I guess I couldn’t restrict that.



    Assuming there are no other ineligible service charges the eligible rent is £80.00 – even if it’s lobster every day (which I doubt it is).


    Have seen higher charges than £30 just for breakfast. Service provider demonstrated this was the real cost by providing tenders and receipts. So £30 per weekFB is not bad today.


    Can I just check this is correct?

    Are we saying that with a RSL it doesn’t matter if their charge for meals is higher than the standard deduction, we still just take the standard deduction??

    Somehow this doesn’t appear correct…. 😳


    ‘Fraid not StAlbans.

    Unlike other ineligible costs, Schedule 1 para 2 doesn’t provide for any leeway. It prescribes that “the amount ineligible……shall be the amount specified in the following provisions of this paragraph”.

    Strange but true.

    This caused a bit of a ho-ha with some of our RSLs last April. Still, never mind, life is hard.


    When board & lodge cases were incorporated into the HB scheme back in 1989 (think it was 1989…been to sleep a couple of times since then) the meals deductions were set deliberately and artificially low. I think the rationale was that if people had to pay the real costs for meals themselves it would use up almost all of their disposal income if they were on passport benefit or low incomes.


    [quote:9f9b332f18]This caused a bit of a ho-ha with some of our RSLs last April. Still, never mind, life is hard.[/quote:9f9b332f18]

    But in this scenario the RSL is actually better off, because they are stating the cost of providing part board is £30 per week, whereas we are only making a deduction of £14.05 per week. So in effect, HB is paying for half of the meals.


    Yeah, it cuts both ways. One of the many eccentricities of the beguiling mistress that is Housing Benefit.

    Andy Thurman

    [quote:5e97feeab6]the beguiling mistress that is Housing Benefit.[/quote:5e97feeab6]

    Do you have any holiday due?! I fear for your well-being! 😉


    The RSL charges less than the standard deduction, so do we still take the standard deduction?


    It is irrelevant what the RSL charges for the meals – the deduction is applied acccording whether its full or part board or breakfast only – no matter those meals actually consist of or cost to produce.

    It’s a never ending battle (every year) to try and explain to landlords that the meals deductions are just fantasy figures from the DWP and are not intended to relate to the actual costs involved – just what their tenants have to contribute (whether they eat them or not!).

    As I see it the problem often gets worse because landlords try to provide breakdowns of rent quoting the standard deductions as the actual cost – often making the rent look very high – when in actual fact the rent includes the cost of the equipment and facilities and staff etc which for a small project can easily run to £hundreds a week.

    I have been invited on a rent setting course with a landord in a few weeks so it will be interesting to see what they are being told to do.



    Yep – as the LA has no discretion to vary the deduction.

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