April 3rd, 2024 by James Goudie KC

A joint Regulator of Social Housing and Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities document sets out the arrangements for a local authority to apply to the SoS for agreement that it would be inappropriate for the Government’s Policy Statement on Rents for Social Housing to apply, because this would cause the authority unavoidable and serious financial difficulty. If the SoS agrees to the Application the effect would be that the rent standard would no longer apply to the accommodation in question and a Memorandum of Understanding will be agreed.

The SoS will expect to be provided with evidence that (1) the authority’s HRA is at risk of deficit in either the current or subsequent financial year, (2) complying with the Rent Standard requirements would jeopardise the authority’s ability to meet legal obligations and (3) all possible steps have been taken to avoid the need to make an Application. Normally short term cash flow issues would not justify an Application.

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