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Tenants Liable For Bedroom Tax Rebate Will Be Contacted Says Council

Published on: 27 Feb, 2014
Updated on: 27 Feb, 2014

Fears that some council tenants may lose out on compensation over a loophole in the Government’s Bedroom Tax if they miss a fast-approaching deadline to claim, have been allayed by Guildford Borough Council.

Guildford Borough CouncilThe council states that 23 tenants are affected and all will be written to shortly to explain the situation, adding that it is definitely not the case that tenants have until March 3, to apply.

It has confirmed that from April 1 2013 the Government introduced the Social Sector Size Criteria rules. These rules mean that where people living in social housing and have one or more spare bedrooms, their housing benefit is restricted. The restrictions are:  14% of housing benefit entitlement where there is one spare bedroom, and  25% where there is more than one spare bedroom.

Very recently, a loophole in the legislation was identified. This meant that some households, where a restriction had been applied to their housing benefit entitlement because the property they occupy is deemed to have more bedrooms than they require, should not have been restricted.

On January 9, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) admitted that people who have been resident in the same home and in continuous receipt of housing benefit since January 1 1996 (subject to a couple of exceptions) should not have had their entitlement restricted if they have more bedrooms than their family size requires.

The DWP has taken steps to remedy this. The legislation has been changed so that from March 3 2014 the loophole will no longer exist.

It means that those affected will be able to claim a rebate despite the date of the change in legislation.

Guildford Borough Council confirms it has 23 tenants affected in council-owned properties and those owned by registered social landlords. (It has a total of 3,000 tenants of council properties in receipt of housing benefit).

It confirms that any underpaid housing benefit will be credited to the 23 tenants.

A spokesman said: “We will contact each of them shortly to explain what has happened and the impact on them.”

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Responses to Tenants Liable For Bedroom Tax Rebate Will Be Contacted Says Council

  1. Raineee Wornham Reply

    February 27, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    Yet again the government changes the law to suite themselves to rob the poor!

  2. Brian Holt Reply

    February 27, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    Some more excellent reporting, you are also helping some of the community to get a fair deal.
    Thank you.

  3. Raineee Wornham Reply

    February 28, 2014 at 9:52 am

    The Government is changing the law to make it legal to rob the poor yet again. But they broke the law to rob the poor. They have blood on their hands – the woman in Solihull who committed suicide leaving a note saying the bedroom tax aggravated her problems.

    And there have been more people who have taken their lives since the bedroom tax has been introduced!

    I ask this question: Is the Government going to compensate any of the people they have so illegally robbed? What about the interest on the money they have stolen or the interest the people could of have earned on the money over the course of a year?

    Why are councils still taking the bedroom tax from these people if they know it’s illegal?

    And what about those who, due to the bedroom tax, have got into rent arrears and have the threat of eviction hanging over them, when all along it was the Government breaking the law that caused their misery!

    And how are these people going to get their money back? I hope the councils don’t try to hold it into their rent accounts for further rent payments!

    The money is rightfully the property of those who were and still are being robbed.

    And what will happen to the Government for this law breaking? Nothing. That’s what they have proved time and time again – they are a law unto themselves.

    But if anyone was to rob the Government they would be put in prison. David Cameron needs to do the descent thing and sack Ian Duncan Smith and himself.

  4. Brian Holt Reply

    February 28, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    In this report the council say tenants involved will be credited. As this money was taken from tenants illegally, it should be return in full now, as some tenants may need it now to pay the high winter fuel bills.
    It is money they are owed and not the council to keep as credit.
    What rights do the council think they have to keep money that is not theirs?

  5. Brian Holt Reply

    March 4, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    I have wondered why the Government or local authorities have not been challenged for the implementation of the bedroom tax, as local authorities do not have the stock to move tenants in to “appropriately” sized properties.

    The tenant is penalised for occupying a property which the Government has deemed “too large” for them while there is little in the way of suitable alternative accommodation in the locality.

    It is one thing to be punished when there is a choice, but while there isn’t any, it is unjust and unfair to expect the tenant to “pay” and there is surely a human rights issue here which could be taken up.

    Yet the loopholes for the rich remain open, with MPs still allowed to fiddle their expenses.

    This is where David Cameron should start with his own government.

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