Thinking of renting private accommodation?

The decision notice that the Valuation Office Agency sends you will tell the maximum rent figure which will generally be used in working out your housing benefit.

Generally, the maximum rent figure is arrived at by using two figures worked out by the Valuation Office Agency. The first is the figure that the Valuation Office Agency thinks is a reasonable rent for the property or one of a suitable size for you and your family. The second figure is the Valuation Office Agency's average rent based on properties of the same size in the area.

If the notice is for someone who is single and is under 25 years of age it will state what the maximum rent figure is as well as the average figure for a non self contained single room. This will be known as the single room rent. In this case the maximum rent will be no more than the single room rent.

It will also give you other information including details of any services (such as laundry or cleaning) paid for in the rent. These services are not generally met by housing benefit. The maximum rent figure will go down if your rent includes, meals. The maximum rent figure can be further reduced by the housing benefit office if the figure seems to them to be unreasonably high for your particular accommodation needs.