- The Welfare Reform and Work Act received Royal Assent on 18
- Sections 20 to 27 of the Act require councils and housing
associations to reduce the rent paid by each of their tenants by 1%
a year in 2016/17 and in each of the following three years.
- Section 21 lists exceptions to this requirement and permits the
Secretary of State to make regulations specifying further
- Regulations will shortly be laid exempting sheltered and
supported accommodation from the rent reductions for a period of 1
year while a review of the financing of supported housing is
- The regulations are also expected to clarify the position on
service charges, which it is the Government's intention to exclude
from the reductions except in some cases where an affordable rent
- Schedule 2 of the Act covers the situation where a new tenancy
begins during the period of the rent reduction. Councils are
permitted to let the property at a rent calculated by reducing the
2015/16 target rent by 1% for each intervening year even in cases
where this would be more than the rent paid by the previous
The Welfare Reform and Work Bill completed its passage through
the House of Lords and received its Third Reading on 9 February.
The Lords made a number of amendments. The Bill then went back and
forth ("ping-pong") between the two Houses of Parliament until
agreement was reached on 7 March. The Bill received Royal Assent on
18 March and is now enacted.