No eviction policies for bedroom tax arrears?

Dundee and Brighton councils are said to be considering a no eviction policy for bedroom tax arrears.  While I may personally agree with the sentiments here as the bedroom charge is imposed and largely out of the tenant’s control, my professional opinion is WHAT A FUCKING STUPID IDEA!

To explain every case for Housing Benefit (including LHA) can ONLY see the benefit being paid if the arrangement between the landlord and tenant is on a commercial basis.  Put simply will the landlord evict the tenant if they fail to pay rent.  If the answer to this is No then the arrangement between the landlord and tenant is not on a commercial basis and not a penny of Housing Benefit will be paid to that claim.

Note well too that this is an either or situation, a case of fact.  The HB departments of Dundee and Bristol can only follow the law, the regulations, here and so if a landlord has a policy of no evictions for bedroom charge tenants, then this means their tenancies are ALL not on a commercial basis and in simple terms the landlord is not a bona fide one.

Can you imagine being the HB Manager in a council hauled in by the Chief Executive after you have correctly disqualified the HB claims on 2000 pensioners in the city and a further 12,000 working age tenants of the council or HA landlord!!

Yes even non bedroom charge affected tenants would be caught by this BASIC HB regulation which states that the HB decision has to ensure the claim is on a commercial basis!

CEO :  Get right back to your office and change your decision as it means we will have 14,000 homeless cases to deal with overnight and this will cost us a fortune. 

HB MANAGER:  Sorry, can’t do I’m just doing my job

CEO: Don’t give me the Nuremberg defence you jumped up jobsworth, it means we are in the shit go and change this ridiculous decision right now

HB MANAGER: Who made this decision?

CEO: Er…that will be all, thank you!

Reader, do you think these attention-seeking councils should have waited until the day the bedroom tax comes in to announce this….you know April Fools Day!!

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7 thoughts on “No eviction policies for bedroom tax arrears?

  1. Why can’t a council as a landlord refuse to take tenants who don’t pay their BRT shortfall to court. How does the Housing Benefit department know what the Council Housing Ledger looks like for any one tenant until possession is sought? I don’t understand.

    1. The council (the HB dept) will know the landlord (council or HA) has a policy of no evictions for bedroom tax. That alone is enough, just having the policy. This says the landlord does not operate on the ‘commercial’ basis I discuss hence no award of HB can be made to any of that landlords tenants.

  2. Joe, I got confused when you mention Bristol. Did you mean Brighton in the 3rd paragraph?
    Basically. this idea was put by the political party there that has the most councillors, to the Head of Housing and Housing Strategy at the Council, and he has no problem with it. I doubt if someone of that stature and the commensurate salary, would make the mistake of missing that it was an unworkable policy if this is so (and you clearly think it’s useless and dangerous) would he?
    However, getting a majority of councillors to agree such a policy is something else entirely.

    1. No. At the time of writing it was rumoured Bristol were considering this idea too and subsequently been confirmed and just after published Darlington was stated o be looking at it – and all have the caveat that as long as tenant has done all they can now added but it changes little

      The HB issues I raise stand and I will tactfully reserve comment on your head of housing comment except to say a Housing Director does not necessarily involve him or herself with the details of how the HB system operates and HB sits in Finance depts of councils not housing as well.

      I posted two previous posts on related issues – the arrears issues we cant discuss and the bedroom tax wont lead to mass evictions and homelessness, which is the naive premise of having a no eviction for btax arrears policy in the first place!

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