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Housing: Valuation

Volume 503: debated on Monday 11 January 2010

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst of 10 November 2009, Official Report, column 209W, on council tax: valuation, how reputational issues that affect open market value are recorded by the Valuation Office Agency. (308369)

Where a reputational issue that might be value significant comes to the attention of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) it can be recorded on the VOA's database by using a ‘WK’ value significant code and/or it might be noted on a VOA domestic survey record.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the answer of 26 October 2009, Official Report, column 74W, on housing: valuation, whether the Valuation Office Agency takes into account the presence of lack of planning permission when calculating local housing allowance for a dwelling which is a caravan. (308371)

The local housing allowance (LHA) was introduced on 7 April 2008 and is applicable to new applicants for housing benefit or to claimants moving property and having a break in claim. However, there are exemptions to the LHA and these include caravans.

Any application to the local authority for housing benefit where the accommodation is a caravan will be subject to a referral to the rent officer for the rent officer to make a determination of a reasonable rent for housing benefit subsidy purposes. In making this determination, the presence or lack of planning permission is not taken into account. The amount of any award for housing benefit will rest with the local authority.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Valuation Office Agency plans to take steps to increase the proportion of dwellings with (a) dwelling house code and (b) value significant codes assigned to them. (308682)

Dwelling house codes and value significant codes are routinely updated in the course of the VOA undertaking its statutory duty to maintain the current valuation lists of approximately 24 million dwellings in England and Wales. The VOA will always look to ensure that its codes are as up to date and as accurate as possible in order to support its statutory functions.