Valuation Office Agency (VOA)
The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is an executive agency of the Department for Work and Pensions. VOA provides valuation for local authorities in England for the billing of Council Tax and the assessment of claims for housing benefit. One of the functions of the VOA is to set LHA rates. However, for people living in bed and breakfast addresses, hostels, boats, tents and supported accommodation a valuation will be needed from the VOA as these types of accommodation are exempt from the LHA scheme.
Housing benefit determinations
In making a determination the Valuation Office Agency 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 considering moving to an exempt accommodation a PTD may still be available to you, whereby you can ask the VOA to make a valuation before you sign the tenancy agreement. You need to complete a pre-tenancy determination form available on the VOA website or from your local authority housing benefit department . The PTD form needs to be signed by you as the prospective tenant, and either the landlord or landlords agent, and returned to the local authority housing benefit department that covers the area where the property is located. This form must not be sent direct to the VOA.
To learn more about The VOA click on the following link to their website and visit their Frequently Asked Questions section: