Further Regulations about Rent Reduction!

The Social Housing Rents (Exceptions & Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 come into force between 1 March and 6 April 2017.

They are mainly of interest to registered providers running domestic violence refuges or almshouses; Community Land Trusts (CLTs); and to Cooperative and fully mutual housing associations. There are also some changes extending the definition of intermediate rent (IMR).

The changes cover the following:

  • Confirmation that accommodation provided by almshouses, Cooperative and fully mutual housing associations, and by CLTs will continue to be exempt from rent reduction for the remaining 3 years but limiting annual increases to CPI + 1% (although permitting use of the 5% flexibility on formula rent on re-lets);
  • Adding domestic violence refuge accommodation (‘DVRA’) to the list of exemptions from rent reduction but limiting increases to CPI + 1% (although permitting use of the 10% flexibility on formula rent which applies to all supported housing on re-lets);
  • Amending the definition of IMR accommodation (which is exempt from reduction) to include additional grant programmes not previously listed in the 2016 Regs viz: the Mortgage Rescue Scheme within the Affordable Homes Programme 2011-16; London Living Rent within the Homes for Londoners AHP 2016-21; the London Housing Zones programme;
  • Exemptions from rent reduction for accommodation where a housing administration order is in force or accommodation previously held by a housing administrator before being transferred to an RP (housing administration orders are orders made under the new special administration regime introduced by the Housing & Planning Act 2016 dealing with insolvency of RPs).

If you have any questions regarding these amendments, please contact our Head of Housing Management, Nick Billingham.

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