The Valuation Office Agency
As of 1st April 2009, the functions of The Rent Service (TRS) transferred to the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).
They provide two types of valuations. The first for those tenants who still come within the Housing Benefit rules, and the second for those who from 7th April 2008 come under Local Housing Allowance rules.
Housing Benefit Determinations
In making a determination the Rent Officer will consider:
- The level of rent
- The rent for similar properties within the vicinity
- The number of rooms
- The age and number of people living within the property being assessed
The determination will usually run for 12 months unless there is a significant change to the property or the number of people included within the household.
Local Housing Allowance Determinations
The Valuation Office Agency does not value the individual property. They set LHA rates for different property sizes within the Broad Market Area which includes the Tendring District area. These rates are based on the average (median) rent charged by landlords in this Broad Market Rental Area.
The LHA rate applicable to the number of bedrooms required by the tenant is then used in the calculation of their entitlement for the next year, unless there is a specified change in the composition of the household in that year. If there is a relevant change, the LHA rate for the new number of bedrooms required at that date will then be used.
To learn more about Valuation Office Agency click on the link to their web site and visit their Frequently Asked Questions section (see useful link on right of this page)