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(1)In section 130 of the Contributions and Benefits Act (housing benefit) subsection (4) ceases to have effect.
(2)After that section insert—
(1)For the purposes of section 130 above, the appropriate maximum housing benefit (in this section referred to as “the AMHB”) is determined in accordance with this section.
(2)Regulations must prescribe the manner in which the AMHB is to be determined.
(3)The regulations may provide for the AMHB to be ascertained in the prescribed manner by reference to rent officer determinations.
(4)The regulations may require an authority administering housing benefit in any prescribed case—
(a)to apply for a rent officer determination, and
(b)to do so within such time as may be specified in the regulations.
(5)The regulations may make provision as to the circumstances in which, for the purpose of determining the AMHB, the amount of the liability mentioned in section 130(1)(a) above must be taken to be the amount of a rent officer determination instead of the actual amount of that liability.
(6)Regulations under subsection (5) may also make provision for the liability of a person who, by virtue of regulations under section 137(2)(j) below, is treated as having a liability mentioned in section 130(1)(a) above to be the amount of a rent officer determination.
(7)A rent officer determination is a determination made by a rent officer in the exercise of functions under section 122 of the Housing Act 1996.”
(3)In Schedule 7 to the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000 (c. 19) (housing benefit and council tax benefit: revisions and appeals), in paragraph 4—
(a)in sub-paragraph (1) for “sub-paragraph (4)” substitute “ sub-paragraphs (4) and (4A) ”;
(b)after sub-paragraph (4) insert—
“(4A)Regulations may prescribe the cases and circumstances in which, and the procedure by which, a decision relating to housing benefit must be made by the appropriate relevant authority.”
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