The Valuation Office Agency (VAO)

Rent officers working for the Valuation Office Agency (VAO) provide valuations for local authorities in England for use in the assessment of claims for housing benefit where the tenant is renting from a private landlord.

Housing benefit determinations

In making a determination the rent officer will consider:

  • The level of rent
  • The rent for similar properties within the vicinity
  • The number of rooms
  • The age and number of people living in the property

The determination will usually run for 12 months unless there is a significant change to the property or the number of people included within the household.

Pre-tenancy determinations (PTD)

If you are claiming housing benefit and are planning to rent from a private landlord you can ask TRS to make a valuation before you sign the tenancy agreement. You need to complete a pre-tenancy determination form available on TRS website or from your local authority housing benefit department. The PTD form needs to be signed by you as the prospective tenant, and either the landlord or landlords agent, and returned to the local authority housing benefit department that covers the area where the property is located. This form must not be sent direct to the Rent Service.

For further information please see the VOA website.

Last updated: 10 March 2016