‘Fair Rents’ and the Valuation Office?

by Readers Question

13:39 PM, 13th July 2020
About 2 months ago

‘Fair Rents’ and the Valuation Office?

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‘Fair Rents’ and the Valuation Office?

I have raised the rents in nearly all my properties over the last couple of months – all by way of S13 and letters to the tenant explaining this.

Just had the following message come back from one Council for one tenant who still receives Housing Benefit:

“Thank you for your recent communication, I can confirm that we did receive proof of Mr X rent increase. The increase cannot be considered at present, because a maximum rent has been set by The Valuation Office and we still have a valid decision from them. The current decision from the Valuation Office expires on 25/02/2021, at which point the rent will be referred to them with this increase included. Mr X has been notified of this.”

I’m totally confused!

I thought as a private landlord I can set any rent I like (but I don’t!). If a tenant is on benefits the Council use the LHA rate as guidance for rent. I always let LOWER that the LHA anyway, (and this increase will still be lower than the recently increased LHA) so can’t understand this response.

Anyone provide some clarity here please?

Reluctant Landlord



Comments

WP

10:33 AM, 17th July 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike D at 16/07/2020 - 21:54
Not that easy when that's the only clientele in the area...

Mick Roberts

8:06 AM, 18th July 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by WP at 15/07/2020 - 09:21
Excuse me, I'm away at moment, hence delays.
Yes, Rent officer looks once a year which u used to be able to appeal against. Rent officer is becoming more remote, but I believe he she is involved in setting the LHA rents too. Happy to be corrected on that.
I think once the tenant moves or change circumstances etc., they no longer on the older rent officer HB system. U can and I did in 2008, switch your tenants manually to new more favourable rates it was then LHA system by requesting a weeks break in HB. Don't know if the same now.
Ask the council (get someone higher up) what the current rules are for getting tenant switched into LHA.

For those that's saying, leave it, only £600 a year. If u want to leave it, leave it. However if u getting license fees chucked at us of £890 and losses from UC, u got to take every penny u get while u can. And with 100 houses, it's £60,000 a year.

Puzzler

10:33 AM, 18th July 2020
About 2 months ago

No you can't increase the rent as and when you like. And only if it's in your tenancy agreement. If the council say they have a valuation then it must run its term. I think, I am not an expert. Even if rent is below LHA rates you can't charge more than the market rate.

WP

15:57 PM, 19th July 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 18/07/2020 - 08:06
cheers - I'll follow up on all that you suggest :).

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