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What happens next?

The housing benefit office will ask the Valuation Office Agency to value the property and to decide how much rent it would be reasonable to pay for it. You will normally get your decision within seven days.

If they have made a valuation on that property on the same tenancy terms within the last twelve months that valuation will stand and the housing benefit office will send you a copy of this decision. The Valuation Office Agency's decision is explained below. Keep this part of this leaflet in a safe place as you may need to refer to it again when you get the Valuation Office Agency's decision.

The Valuation Office Agency will send you, the landlord and the housing benefit office copies of this decision. The information he gives you will help you decide whether you can afford the rent that is being asked. If you decide to take the accommodation you should claim housing benefit at once. You can get a housing benefit claim form from your local housing benefit office.

IMPORTANT NOTE

Housing benefit will only meet in full rents which are around the general level for properties in the area where you have chosen to live. If your rent is above this level you are unlikely to get all your rent from housing benefit.

If you are single and under 25 years of age the maximum rent which will be used to work out your housing benefit will be limited to the average cost of a non self contained room in the area in which you are thinking of living. The Valuation Office Agency will give you that figure.