HC Deb 24 June 1999 vol 333 c433W
Mr. Webb

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security for how many current recipients of housing benefit their eligible rent is below the actual rent which they pay because of (i) the single room rent rules, (ii) the average reference rent rules and (iii) either of the above; and, in each case, what is the average amount by which the eligible rent falls short of the actual rent paid. [87778]

Angela Eagle

The information is not available in the format requested. We do not centrally collect information of individuals' contractual rent because it will commonly include items not eligible for Housing Benefit.

The measures which limit the rent for Housing Benefit purposes are:

  • certain service charges included in the contractual rent which are not generally eligible for Housing Benefit, for example, charges for cleaning, laundry, fuel, meals and personal care and nursing;
  • the range of determinations, including determinations of single room rents, made by rent officers in respect of most claims from tenants living in the private rented sector; and
  • where local authorities consider that the rent is unreasonably high or the accommodation overlarge or the eligible rent is nonetheless too high in respect of a particular case.