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The Housing Benefit Regulations 2006

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Maximum rent

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13.  (1)  Where an authority has applied to the rent officer for a determination in accordance with regulation 14 (requirement to refer to rent officers) and a rent officer has made a determination or redetermination in exercise of the Housing Act functions, the maximum rent shall be determined in accordance with paragraphs (2) to (17).

(2) In a case where the rent officer has determined a claim-related rent, but is not required to notify the authority of a local reference rent or a single room rent, the maximum rent shall be that claim-related rent.

(3) In a case where the rent officer has determined and is required to notify the authority of a local reference rent, the maximum rent shall not exceed twice that local reference rent.

(4) Subject to paragraph (5), in the case of a young individual—

(a)except where sub-paragraph (b) applies, where the rent officer has determined a single room rent and is required to notify the authority of it, the maximum rent shall not exceed that single room rent;

(b)where—

(i)the rent officer has determined a single room rent and a claim-related rent and is required to notify the authority of them;

(ii)the claim-related rent includes payment in respect of meals; and

(iii)the single room rent is greater than the claim-related rent less an amount in respect of meals determined in accordance with paragraph 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 1 (ineligible service charges),

the maximum rent shall not exceed the claim-related rent less that amount in respect of meals.

(5) Paragraph (4) shall not apply in the case of a claimant—

(a)to whom paragraph 4 of Schedule 3 to the Consequential Provisions Regulations (saving provision) applies;

(b)to whom paragraph 14 of Schedule 3 (severe disability premium) applies; or

(c)who has a non-dependant residing with him.

(6) Subject to the limits specified in paragraphs (3) and (4), in a case where the rent officer has determined both a local reference rent of which he is required to notify the authority and a claim-related rent, and—

(a)the claim-related rent is higher than the local reference rent, the maximum rent shall be the local reference rent;

(b)the local reference rent is higher than the claim-related rent, the maximum rent shall be the claim-related rent.

(7) Subject to the limits specified in paragraphs (3) and (4), in a case where the rent officer has determined a local reference rent of which he is required to notify the authority, but has not determined a claim-related rent and the reckonable rent is more than the local reference rent, the maximum rent shall be the local reference rent.

(8) In a case where—

(a)the authority has determined a maximum rent in respect of a dwelling; and

(b)during the award of housing benefit the reckonable rent in respect of that dwelling is reduced to a sum which is less than the reckonable rent at the time that maximum rent was determined,

then—

(i)the maximum rent shall not be reduced, where the sum is not less than the maximum rent, during a period ending on the effective date of a decision adopting a determination of a rent officer where that determination was made in exercise of the Housing Act functions pursuant to an application by the authority under regulation 14(1)(c), (d), (e), (f) or (g); and

(ii)the maximum rent shall be reduced to an amount equal to that sum, where that sum is less than the maximum rent during a period ending on the effective date of a decision adopting a determination of a rent officer where that determination was made in exercise of the Housing Act functions pursuant to an application by the authority under regulation 14(1)(c), (d), (e), (f) or (g).

(9) Subject to paragraph (10), in a case where—

(a)a rent officer has made a determination in exercise of the Housing Act functions pursuant to an application by an authority under regulation 14(1)(e); and

(b)subsequent to that determination the reckonable rent for that dwelling is changed,

then in determining a maximum rent in relation to a claim for benefit of a claimant who has a liability to make payments in respect of that dwelling, the authority shall treat the claim-related rent or, as the case may be, reckonable rent to be that determined in or, as the case may be, applicable to, that determination by the rent officer.

(10) Paragraph (9) shall not apply in a case where the reckonable rent is reduced to a figure below the figure that would have been the maximum rent if that reckonable rent had not changed; and where this paragraph applies, the maximum rent shall be the reckonable rent, as so reduced.

(11) In a case where the claimant occupies a dwelling which is the same as that occupied by him at the date of death of any person to whom paragraph (16)(b) to (d) applied or, had a claim been made, would have applied, the maximum rent shall be either—

(a)the maximum rent which applied before the death occurred; or

(b)in a case where there was no maximum rent, the reckonable rent due before the death occurred,

for a period of 12 months from the date of such a death.

(12) For the purposes of paragraph (11), a claimant shall be treated as occupying the dwelling if paragraph (13) of regulation 7 (circumstances in which a person is or is not to be treated as occupying a dwelling as his home) is satisfied and for that purpose sub-paragraph (b) of that paragraph of that regulation shall be treated as if it were omitted.

(13) In a case where a charge for meals is ineligible to be met by housing benefit under regulation 12(3) and paragraph 1 of Schedule 1, there shall be deducted an amount determined in accordance with paragraph 2 of Schedule 1 in respect of meals in the calculation of a person’s maximum rent, except where the maximum rent is derived from a rent officer determination under—

(a)paragraph 3 (exceptional high rents) of Schedule 1 to the Rent Officers Order(1) and the notice of claim-related rent states pursuant to paragraph 9(1)(c) of that Schedule that an ineligible payment has not been included in it; or

(b)paragraph 5 (single room rents) of that Schedule.

(14) Subject to paragraph (15), where the relevant authority is satisfied that a person to whom paragraph (16) applies was able to meet the financial commitments for his dwelling when they were entered into, there shall be no maximum rent during the first 13 weeks of the claimant’s award of housing benefit.

(15) Paragraph (14) shall not apply where a claimant was previously entitled to benefit in respect of an award of housing benefit which fell wholly or partly less than 52 weeks before the commencement of his current award of housing benefit.

(16) This paragraph applies to the following persons—

(a)the claimant;

(b)any member of his family;

(c)if the claimant is a member of a polygamous marriage, any partners of his and any child or young person for whom he or a partner is responsible and who is a member of the same household;

(d)subject to paragraph (17), any relative of the claimant or his partner who occupies the same dwelling as the claimant, whether or not they reside with him.

(17) Paragraph (16)(d) shall only apply to a relative who has no separate right of occupation of the dwelling which would enable him to continue to occupy it even if the claimant ceased his occupation of it.

(18) In this regulation—

“claim related rent” means the rent notified by the rent officer under paragraph 9(1) of Schedule 1 to the Rent Officers Order;

“deduction for meals” means any amount of a person’s otherwise eligible rent which is an ineligible service charge by reason of and within the meaning of paragraph 1(a)(i) of Schedule 1;

“local reference rent” means the rent determined by a rent officer under paragraph 4 of Schedule 1 to the Rent Officers Order;

“reckonable rent” means those payments, which a person is liable to make in respect of the dwelling which he occupies as his home, and which are eligible, or would, but for this regulation, be eligible for housing benefit plus the amount of any deduction for fuel, deduction for meals or water charges, as the case may be, which that person is liable to pay;

“single room rent” means the rent determined by a rent officer under paragraph 5 of Schedule 1 to the Rent Officers Order.

(1)

S.I. 1997/1984.

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