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Pre-tenancy determinations

This content applies to England

How tenants can apply for a pre-tenancy determination for a property, to show what rent figure will be used in calculating housing benefit.

Tenants who may be subject to restrictions on the rent they can claim for can apply to the local authority for a 'pre-tenancy determination', which sets what rent figure will be used in calculating housing benefit.[1] The tenant has to complete and sign a form, which also has to be signed by the landlord. The local authority must refer the rent to the rent officer within two working days. The rent officer must respond within five working days (and usually does so much more quickly).

This provision is intended to assist tenants in making decisions about moving into properties. If the tenant moves in and subsequently claims housing benefit, then the figure given in the pre-tenancy determination will be the rent that is used when housing benefit is calculated. The pre-tenancy determination may not, therefore, be the actual level of housing benefit awarded.

Since the introduction of the Local Housing Allowance scheme and the publication of LHA rates it is no longer necessary for most private tenants to apply for a pre-tenancy determination. For more information see the page on How LHA is calculated.

[1] reg 14(1)(e) Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 SI 2006/213; reg 14(1)(e) Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for pension credit) Regulations 2006 SI 2006/214.

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