Dear Homes and Communities Agency,
With reference to the government’s proposal to cut social housing rent by 1% a year for four years, please could you provide information which would sufficiently clarify the following...
With fixed service charges, whereby the service charge is paid separate to the rent, under these new proposals would these charges now also be included under the title of "rent" and also be cut by1%?
Dear B Adams,
Thank you for your email of 30 November 2015 requesting information on proposed rent cuts.
You have asked whether service charges would be caught by the proposed rent reduction regime announced in the July budget. Rent policy is a matter for Government, and our standard on rent regulation is determined by the direction given to us by the Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government. The changes announced in the budget are being enacted through the Welfare Reform and Work Bill (the Bill), and are and still subject to parliamentary scrutiny. We cannot therefore be certain how the new regime will work until the Bill has completed its passage through Parliament, and any associated regulations and directions have been published. As a result there are a number of areas where the final position is not settled and where any further clarity that you need may be best sought from the Department directly. However, the latest draft of the Bill does contain definitions of both ‘rent’ and ‘service charge’, and you may wish to consult this document (it is available on the Parliament website here: http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2015...). Of course, in light of what we have said above, these provisions may yet change. You will therefore need to follow the progress of the legislation carefully.
I hope that this is helpful.
Robert Bean | Legal Assistant
Homes and Communities Agency | Woodlands, Manton Lane, Bedford, MK41 7LW | Tel: 01234 242593
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