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!!