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The Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015

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Housing costs
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16.—(1) The calculation of an award of universal credit is to include an amount in respect of any liability of a claimant to make payments in respect of the accommodation the claimant occupies as his or her home.

(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1)—

(a)the accommodation must be in Northern Ireland;

(b)the accommodation must be residential accommodation;

(c)it is immaterial whether the accommodation consists of the whole or part of a building and whether or not it comprises separate and self-contained premises.

(3) Regulations may make provision as to—

(a)what is meant by payments in respect of accommodation for the purposes of this Article (and, in particular, the extent to which such payments include mortgage payments);

(b)circumstances in which a claimant is to be treated as liable or not liable to make such payments;

(c)circumstances in which a claimant is to be treated as occupying or not occupying accommodation as his or her home (and, in particular, for temporary absences to be disregarded);

(d)circumstances in which land used for the purposes of any accommodation is to be treated as included in the accommodation.

(4) Regulations are to provide for the determination or calculation of any amount to be included under this Article.

(5) Regulations may—

(a)provide for exceptions to paragraph (1);

(b)provide for inclusion of an amount under this Article in the calculation of an award of universal credit—

(i)to end at a prescribed time, or

(ii)not to start until a prescribed time.

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