Saturday, 25 June 2016

Decision will cost the organisation £250,000 in lost rental income

Tenants avoid bedroom tax after Knowsley reclassifies homes

Knowsley Housing Trust is reclassifying 566 properties as smaller homes, in a move which will help tenants affected by the bedroom tax.

The 14,000-home association is re-designating some of its two and three-bedroom homes as one and two-bedrooms respectively, which will cost it £250,000 in rental income per year.

Bob Taylor, chief executive of KHT, said a stock review showed some homes are currently classified as having more bedrooms than they actually have, because tenants are not using the extra rooms as bedrooms. They are therefore paying too much rent.

He said: ‘We wanted to look at all our properties and make sure every charge on them is the right rent.’

Mr Taylor said that reclassification would also exempt some people from the bedroom tax. However, he insisted KHT would have pressed ahead with the move even without welfare reforms.

Under the government’s bedroom tax policy, social housing households of working age with spare rooms will have their benefit cut from April.

The Department for Work and Pensions has left it to social landlords to decide what counts as a bedroom.

This led to speculation some landlords would look to reclassify homes.

However, an Inside Housing survey published last June revealed the majority of England’s largest social landlords do not plan to reclassify their stock due to concerns about reduced rental income and the impact on existing lending agreements.

A survey of more than 220 associations for the National Housing Federation last month showed just 11 per cent of landlords are likely to reclassify significant numbers of homes.

Readers' comments (19)

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

Related

Articles

  • Court rules bedroom tax is unlawful

    27 January 2016

    The bedroom tax unlawfully discriminates against domestic violence victims and disabled children, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

  • Bedroom tax tenants 'fail to downsize'

    18 December 2015

    Just 8% of tenants hit by the bedroom tax have moved to smaller properties, an official study commissioned by the government has found.

  • Stormont deal will nullify bedroom tax

    18 November 2015

    The bedroom tax will be introduced in Northern Ireland but fully mitigated for at least four years under an historic agreement to break political deadlock in the country.

  • Welsh Government urged to act on bedroom tax

    30 July 2015

    Welsh Assembly members have called for greater use of Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) to help tenants struggling to pay rent because of the bedroom tax.

  • Bedroom tax appeals given green light

    22 July 2015

    A domestic violence victim and the grandparents of a disabled child have been granted permission to appeal against two major bedroom tax rulings.

IH Subscription