Saturday, 13 February 2016

Free rent offer for downsizers in Thurrock

An Essex Council is considering offering periods of free rent to under-occupying tenants who move to smaller properties.

The move by Thurrock Council is designed to free up properties and alleviate the impact of the coalition’s bedroom tax. This will see social housing tenants of working age with one or two spare rooms docked 14 per cent or 25 per cent of their housing benefit respectively.

Thurrock is looking to offer up to six months free rent for tenants downsizing or cash payments if the tenants claim housing benefit. The offer would also apply to pensioners, who are exempt from the bedroom tax.

Barbara Brownlee, director of housing at Thurrock Council, said 45 households downsized last year, but that she expects the number to double this year.

She said the council had yet to calculate how many of its 10,000 households will be affected by the bedroom tax. She also said the council will offer support, such as staff to help people move and settle in to their new homes.

Ms Brownlee, who stressed the proposal is at an early stage and would be scrutinised by councillors next Wednesday, estimated the measures would cost between £200,000 and £250,000 and be funded through the housing revenue account.

Readers' comments (10)

Comments are only open to subscribers of Inside Housing

Already a subscriber?

If you’re already a subscriber to Inside Housing, your subscription may not be linked to your online account. You can link your subscription from within the My Account section of the website and clicking on Link My Account.

Not yet a subscriber?

If you don't yet subscribe to Inside Housing, please visit our subscription page to view our various subscription packages.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

sign in register

Newsletter Sign-up



  • Landlords offered free efficiency event

    1 December 2015

    Housing professionals are being offered the opportunity to attend a free webinar this Friday focused on how to secure efficiency savings in the wake of government reforms.

  • Home Group sets out 'flexi rent' grant-free model

    5 October 2015

    One of the UK’s largest housing associations has revealed details of a new ‘flexi rent’ scheme, which it claims can deliver affordable housing without government grant.

  • £110m Scottish bond to be gearing-free

    5 May 2015

    A bond aggregator set to launch its long-awaited first deal in September will drop the usual gearing terms to entice landlords into the deal.

  • Free webinar on universal credit

    4 March 2015

    Housing professionals can attend a free online event this Friday in which leading experts will share strategies to mitigate the impact of universal credit on landlords’ income.

  • Bond aggregator makes offer to small landlords

    16 February 2015

    A group of small Scottish housing associations is set to consider a new type of club bond, which would see landlords raising a minimum of £500,000 each through the deal.

IH Subscription