Valuation Office Agency Rent Officers

Rent Officers provide valuations for local authorities, landlords and tenants in England. Independent of commercial interests, Rent Officers work with thousands of professional landlords and letting agents to compile a list of rents representative of the private rented sector. Rent Officer valuations are currently based on information from around half a million private rents agreed within the previous twelve months.

Our main statutory functions are to:

Determine and publish Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates for every Local Authority in England.

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) applies to those private sector tenants who make a new claim for housing benefit or have changed address on or after 7 April 2008. Rent Officers determine Local Housing Allowance rates for 152 Broad Rental Market Areas on an annual basis.

Provide Local Reference Rent scheme Housing Benefit determinations to Local Authorities

People who have been claiming housing benefit continuously since before 7 April 2008, receive the benefit based on a range of valuations provided to local authorities by the Rent Officer. Rent Officers made 295,000 individual housing benefit determinations for local authorities during the 2011-12 business year.

Provide 'Fair Rent' registrations

Rent Officers can register a Fair Rent under the Rent Act 1977 for most private sector tenancies which started before 15 January 1989. They can also register a Fair Rent under the Rent (Agriculture) Act 1976. A Fair Rent is the maximum rent that can be charged for the tenancy. We registered over 66,000 Fair Rents during 2011-12.

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