The Valuation Office Agency is an executive agency of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), which provides the government with the valuations and property advice required to support taxation and benefits.
Rent Officers work within the private rented sector in England, providing valuation services for local authorities, landlords and tenants. Independent of commercial interests, Rent Officers work with thousands of professional landlords and letting agents to compile a unique view of the private rented sector.
Rent Officer valuations and determinations are currently based on information from around half a million private rents agreed within the previous twelve months.
Housing Benefit Determinations
In making a determination the VOA 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.
Pre-tenancy determinations (PTD)
If you are claiming housing benefit and are planning to rent from a private landlord you can ask the VOA to make a valuation before you sign the tenancy agreement unless your claim is to be determined under Local Housing Allowance rules. You need to complete a pre-tenancy determination form which you can obtain by contacting us. The Pre-tenancy determination form needs to be signed by you as the prospective tenant, and either the landlord or landlords agent, and returned to Craven District Council.
Housing Benefit will only normally meet in full rent where the property is fully occupied i.e. suitable for the size of your household, and the rent charged is around the general level for properties in the area where you have chosen to live. If your rent is above this level it is unlikely that you will get Housing Benefit to cover all of your rent. The Rent Officer will give you this figure. Remember that when your Housing Benefit is worked out it will take into account your income and other circumstances. The Pre-Tenancy Determination does not guarantee that you will get Housing Benefit or tell you the amount you will get.
Please contact Customer Services (see contact details to the right of the page) if you have any queries regarding Housing Benefit, Local Housing Allowance and Pre-tenancy determinations.