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"Bedroom Tax" and people on wait list - a possible solution that works for all?


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Old 10-02-2013, 16:21
Mr Absinthe
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Hello!

Just a random idea I had whilst reading a thread about the proposed charges for empty rooms on publicly funded tenancies. BTW, I can't claim I'm totally against the idea, considering that working to address the social housing shortage is more important to the nation than sentimentality IMO

What about as an alternative to people having to leave the house or pay a fee for the spare room, we offer them the alternative of a government set up "Waiting list lodger" scheme.

Let the housing authorities send them a list of people willing to share the property in their area, the tenants could set up meetings and providing they both agree (obviously, forcing people to live together without both parties agreement is a silly idea) live together in the larger properties.

Considering the shortage of decent smaller properties and the large number of single claimants currently living in very overpriced bedsits or B&B's at the public expense whilst waiting to be housed - would a plan such as this that saves money, admin time, moving expense and the grief of those who don't want to leave their homes be possible or even wanted?
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Old 10-02-2013, 16:29
PrestonAl
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Firstly, it's not a tax and secondly there is no fee being paid.

Otherwise, I agree that lodgers should be considered by these people although for some having a stranger in their house is scary.

I would go with the amendments that are currently being looked at in parliament, where only having 2 rooms or more spare, would reduce your benefit. I personally think that this will be the compromise that the government go with.
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Old 10-02-2013, 16:34
Mr Absinthe
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Firstly, it's not a tax and secondly there is no fee being paid.

Otherwise, I agree that lodgers should be considered by these people although for some having a stranger in their house is scary.

I would go with the amendments that are currently being looked at in parliament, where only having 2 rooms or more spare, would reduce your benefit. I personally think that this will be the compromise that the government go with.
I'm aware it's not a tax, hence the "" - was just using what seems to be the popular name for it

I agree to an extent with the amendment, although it still see's much needed social housing stock not being used to it's full advantage.

Although yes, some could find a lodger scary, hence why make it opt-in only. Perhaps set up some sort of website where people can post a profile? I can actually imagine a fair amount of the older single people liking the idea, a fair few of them must be lonley and wouldn't perhaps object to someone at a similar stage of life to help share the housework and gardening with?
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Old 10-02-2013, 16:41
Grumpy pants
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Great idea. I'm sure lord Freud will be the first of many toffs to sign up and offer their many spare bedrooms to the public.
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Old 10-02-2013, 16:42
Ethel_Fred
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I can actually imagine a fair amount of the older single people liking the idea,
They are already excluded from the "bedroom tax".
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Old 10-02-2013, 16:49
Mr Absinthe
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Great idea. I'm sure lord Freud will be the first of many toffs to sign up and offer their many spare bedrooms to the public.
I'm sure he could, please do tell how this applies to him? I'm going on the assumption that the average lord is neither in receipt of housing benefit or renting a property from a housing association.

I like the casual use of 'toff' btw. I love the double standards of inverted snobbery sometimes, throwing that around so casually but probably offended if a Lord were to refer to social housing tenants as 'the great unwashed'...
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Old 10-02-2013, 16:51
Grumpy pants
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I'm sure he could, please do tell how this applies to him? I'm going on the assumption that the average lord is neither in receipt of housing benefit or renting a property from a housing association.

I like the casual use of 'toff' btw. I love the double standards of inverted snobbery sometimes, throwing that around so casually but probably offended if a Lord were to refer to social housing tenants as 'the great unwashed'...
No they actually think of us as plebs.
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Old 10-02-2013, 16:56
Mr Absinthe
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No they actually think of us as plebs.
Well done you, what work the vast social study you obviously conducted to sum up the feelings of an entire socio-economic class into one sentence must have been.

No? Thought not.

Stop being a snob please, it's tedious.
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Old 10-02-2013, 16:57
PrestonAl
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No they actually think of us as plebs.
regardless, it doesn't affect him as he is not in receipt of housing benefit, or living in social housing.

Do you also think it's fair that people receiving housing benefits, who are in private rented accommodation, should only receive housing benefit for the size of house that fits their needs.

Currently renting from a private landlord, you only receive housing benefits for the rooms you need.
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Old 10-02-2013, 17:20
katywil
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i'm wondering if some people could just invent a lodger to save having to pay extra?
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Old 10-02-2013, 17:24
stud u like
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i'm wondering if some people could just invent a lodger to save having to pay extra?
The tax man will wonder where his money is.
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Old 10-02-2013, 17:30
tim59
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Anyone in socail housing needs alot of advice from CAB before they even think about it, as it gets very complcated if you receive any kind of benefit. You have to deal with landlord, HB office CT office, DWP, tax office, and your insurunse company. And if things are not done properly they could find themselfs losing more money
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Old 10-02-2013, 17:31
LakieLady
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Rental income from just one lodger is not taxable under the "rent a room" rules.
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Old 10-02-2013, 17:33
Ethel_Fred
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But it would require permission from the landlord.

It still leaves the problems of people who need an extra room for medical reasons
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Old 10-02-2013, 17:34
tim59
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Rental income from just one lodger is not taxable under the "rent a room" rules.
You are not allowed to sublet a social housing property
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Old 10-02-2013, 17:35
dotty1
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regardless, it doesn't affect him as he is not in receipt of housing benefit, or living in social housing.

Do you also think it's fair that people receiving housing benefits, who are in private rented accommodation, should only receive housing benefit for the size of house that fits their needs.

Currently renting from a private landlord, you only receive housing benefits for the rooms you need.
I read recently that if you find a bigger house within the LHA you are allocated for the size of your family, then you can have an extra room without having your benefit reduced. I know that there are some 4 bedroom houses in my area that cost at least the same as some 3 beds, so maybe it's true.
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Old 10-02-2013, 17:38
dotty1
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i'm wondering if some people could just invent a lodger to save having to pay extra?
When the Universal Credit is introduced, the lodger won't exist for the purposes of size criteria so people will still have to pay for the room whether they have a lodger or not.
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Old 10-02-2013, 17:42
Orri
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Do you also think it's fair that people receiving housing benefits, who are in private rented accommodation, should only receive housing benefit for the size of house that fits their needs.
I thought that that was what was already happening. It simply seems that there is something deeper at the root of this. For instance someone who is forced to housing larger than their needs due to that being all that is available but is able to cover it will find their allowance cut, despite that allowance being adjusted to their needs. The more probable target might be long term tenants who's rents are protected and so even though their children have left or that was the only accommodation available at the time are still able to afford it on an allowance given on the basis of need. If so then the proposal seems to impose a deduction in order to make that accommodation less affordable. Assuming they are then forced to move one assumes that such a deduction will no longer apply. In that case this has nothing to do with fairness and more to do with moving people on. In addition any savings to the public purse will vanish as more people are shuffled into small accommodation assuming that such is available in the first place. Of course if the council doesn't have the smaller housing needed I'm sure the private sector might step into the breech. And assuming all those the council have a statutory duty to home have been dealt with there will be houses that are empty due to this which will them be sold into private hands.
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Old 10-02-2013, 17:49
katywil
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The tax man will wonder where his money is.
this bedroom "tax" is about housing benefits i believe. its only people who are claiming housing allowances for a house with an empty bedroom who will be liable for this. so ,if the tenant is claiming benefits they wont be paying taxes? i dont know the facts on taxes. so i could be wrong another way round it is for the tenant to have a son or daughter home for the weekend? surely theres nothing anyone can do about that and the tenant wont be liable for the bedroom "tax".
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Old 10-02-2013, 17:58
tim59
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this bedroom "tax" is about housing benefits i believe. its only people who are claiming housing allowances for a house with an empty bedroom who will be liable for this. so ,if the tenant is claiming benefits they wont be paying taxes? i dont know the facts on taxes. so i could be wrong another way round it is for the tenant to have a son or daughter home for the weekend? surely theres nothing anyone can do about that and the tenant wont be liable for the bedroom "tax".
No your wrong the bedroom has to be the mean residence of the person it canot be for weekend us
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Old 10-02-2013, 17:59
katywil
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But it would require permission from the landlord.

It still leaves the problems of people who need an extra room for medical reasons
surely if they need the room for medical reasons , they will be exempt? i have a relative who lives in a two bedroom house with her husband. they were given this house because the husband needs oxygen at night and it disturbs her sleep.
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Old 10-02-2013, 18:08
tim59
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surely if they need the room for medical reasons , they will be exempt? i have a relative who lives in a two bedroom house with her husband. they were given this house because the husband needs oxygen at night and it disturbs her sleep.
No medical reasons are not exempt, if there age is over 60 then they are exempt because of there age not because there ill
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Old 10-02-2013, 18:22
Ethel_Fred
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surely if they need the room for medical reasons , they will be exempt?
That would presume that the policy was well thought through.

But like most government policies it looks as if it was devised after a hard night on the cheese & port.

It doesn't take into account "need" nor does it take into account the problems of a couple without children trying to find a one bedroom property. when no such properties are available.

It's a policy that thinks having 9 yr old children of differing sexes share one room is acceptable as is a teenager sharing with 1 one year old.
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Old 10-02-2013, 18:36
auntiesocial
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I thought that that was what was already happening. It simply seems that there is something deeper at the root of this. For instance someone who is forced to housing larger than their needs due to that being all that is available but is able to cover it will find their allowance cut, despite that allowance being adjusted to their needs. The more probable target might be long term tenants who's rents are protected and so even though their children have left or that was the only accommodation available at the time are still able to afford it on an allowance given on the basis of need. If so then the proposal seems to impose a deduction in order to make that accommodation less affordable. Assuming they are then forced to move one assumes that such a deduction will no longer apply. In that case this has nothing to do with fairness and more to do with moving people on. In addition any savings to the public purse will vanish as more people are shuffled into small accommodation assuming that such is available in the first place. Of course if the council doesn't have the smaller housing needed I'm sure the private sector might step into the breech. And assuming all those the council have a statutory duty to home have been dealt with there will be houses that are empty due to this which will them be sold into private hands.
Therein lies the crux of the issue. All new tenancies are subject to the new rules which allow rents to be charged up to 80% market value. If you move existing tenants, they then have a new tenancy.
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Old 10-02-2013, 18:52
Orri
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Therein lies the crux of the issue. All new tenancies are subject to the new rules which allow rents to be charged up to 80% market value. If you move existing tenants, they then have a new tenancy.
Which I assume means a potential rise in the rent they have to pay. Possibly with that coming out of the public purse and so the public might be little better of. Of course, as I said, there may not be the housing for them so private landlords will become involved. Then there will be a shuffle down of families into the smallest number of rooms possible. In some cases this will be implemented strictly with no allowance for the fact that children get older so we'll hear of families forced out of a home that in a very short space of time they qualify as one or more children have birthdays. Meanwhile the councils will have a lot of stock that they may not have tenents for which will then be sold on the open market. Cynical tory hater that I am I see this as being open to abuse in so many ways that it's laughable. I see the main effect will be that some councils will lose a lot of income which was spent on maintenance staff and other public works and private landlords will get an increase in income followed by a chance at cheap housing. That might be followed by "temporarily" having to house the very families who were moved out in the first place due changes in circumstances that might have been predicted.
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