to wonder why the bedroom tax gets more attention than the fact that private renters getting Local Housing Allowance always have to top up their rent?

(97 Posts)
coco87 Sat 21-Sep-13 18:07:48

The bedroom tax is constantly in the news and I understand that people feel strongly about this. However, I am a bit perturbed as to why the bedroom tax gets so much more attention than the plight of private renters and especially those who can only pay their rent with Local Housing Allowance but always have to top it up from wages/other benefits because LHA only covers a percentage of most private rents?

Why isn't anyone in government protesting against this excess which is normally much more than anyone currently having to pay the bedroom tax would ever have to pay?

For example, one of my friends lives in a flat and she gets £230 pw in LHA but her rent is £290 pw (this is London), so she has to find £60 extra to top it up. There are now more people private renting than social renting, so this should be a much bigger issue imo, although both are a scandalous.

measuringcup Sat 21-Sep-13 18:11:16

I am in this situation, get part housing benefit as low income working. Result is landlord being hacked off with me because I have to pay rent in split payments, I.e 2 week housing benefit, then a week later two weeks my own money.

RoonilWazlibWuvsHermyown Sat 21-Sep-13 18:18:18

I get full HB for my area and the cheapest places to rent cost £100 more than we receive. It was the same where I use to live. Its crazy.

SaucyJack Sat 21-Sep-13 18:18:30

Probably because they were never lucky enough to have a free for all on private renting in the first place, so noone is kicking up a fuss because nothing has changed.

redshifter Sat 21-Sep-13 18:20:34

I totally understand what you mean.

I dont like the bedroom tax but it seems to be forgotten or ignored that if you are in private rented housing you have always had to pay a lot more for an extra room than social housing tenants.

Pixel Sat 21-Sep-13 18:23:24

I agree. I mean, presumably people in social housing are allowed to have a lodger/students to make up the shortfall if they want, I'm not sure if we could (not that we have any spare room at all). Our lease says we are not allowed to run a business from the house so possibly taking lodgers would count. At any rate it would be at the landlord's discretion and he could easily object to having people he hasn't 'vetted' in the house. I had to get written permission to have a cat!

expatinscotland Sat 21-Sep-13 18:24:05

LHA was brought in instead of rent caps, to keep private rents down. Of course, it didn't work, especially as the number of private renters increases more and more.

But no one will kick up a fuss about the issues now surrounding private rents/renting (low LHAs, very insecure 6 months agreements, racketeering and complete lack of regulation of letting agents, etc) because it benefits BTL landlords and props up an over-inflated housing market.

expatinscotland Sat 21-Sep-13 18:25:10

'I mean, presumably people in social housing are allowed to have a lodger/students to make up the shortfall if they want,'

That is not true at all for many, many tenants in social housing, who are also forbidden from running a business from the home as well.

TickleMyTitsTillFriday Sat 21-Sep-13 18:26:38

Finally someone speaks sense! I've been saying this for months op and people just look at me blankly like I don't understand...

utreas Sat 21-Sep-13 18:28:38

YANBU and illustrates why the removal of the unnecessary subsidy is required.

dirtyface Sat 21-Sep-13 18:29:00

YANBU

people associate being on benefits with people that don't work at all

in reality many people in work need to claim top ups just to survive

the price of private renting is a disgrace but i have said it a million times

CharlieAlphaKiloEcho Sat 21-Sep-13 18:30:08

When I was in my private rent I never had to top up my HB because I was eligible for a 3 bed rate but only rented a two bed so the numbers balanced out.

But when we were being evicted (because the LL was scared of all the benefit cap/Universal credit talk) we were looking at a shortfall of nearly £200 given the current rent rates. We never actually got that far as I no one wanted a HB family at all.

Now we are in temporary housing and the rent is almost three times the local social houses. The shortfall is near £400 and there is nothing I can do about it. They refused to put us in a two bed because of the kids ages.

We have been told we will get DHP but no idea how long for...

expatinscotland Sat 21-Sep-13 18:31:08

'YANBU and illustrates why the removal of the unnecessary subsidy is required.'

Council/HA housing is not subsidised, the problem is that private renting is over-priced. But instead of introducing rent caps and reforming tenancy law, the government introduced LHA caps, to punish the working poor rather than targeting the housing market.

I've just had a look here. For my area there is one house for rent within the amount you get for our situation (6people-3bedroom house) and they won't take hb.
It's hard enough, when you pay the rent fully yourself from wages, to find a house that will allow four children. I can't imagine many 3 bedroom landlords would like it even if there were any around.
The next lowest three bed is £100 more than the amount of hb (a flat over a shop)

expatinscotland Sat 21-Sep-13 18:34:58

Yes, there is that, too, Woman: no 'DSS', no children. The government is so out of touch they assume the private sector will make up for lack of social housing, but it cannot when people cannot afford rent top ups or can't find a landlord to take them, so homelessness increases.

FlapJackFlossie Sat 21-Sep-13 18:35:33

This is caused by greedy landlords cashing in on buy-to-let. Shameful !

utreas Sat 21-Sep-13 18:35:44

The private renting rate is not overpriced, its the price set by the forces of the market. Social housing rates are subsidised by the State using money collected through taxation, you can argue whether or not is a good thing but arguing that social housing is the correct rate is nonsense.

redshifter Sat 21-Sep-13 18:37:41

My friend lives in a two bedroom council house on her own. She is livid thay she has to find an extra £14 a week now.

I sympathise with her but I live on my own now in private rented 2 bedroom place in London. Since my son moved to Newcastle for a job I have to find an extra £65 a week. No way can I afford this and still eat. Desperatly looking for 1 bed place that will come under LHA. Best I have found is £30 over per week. Don't know what I am going to do now. Feeling pretty desperate.

I feel it is just another way of this government making ordinary people resent each other to detract attention from their policies which are expanding the wealth divide

expatinscotland Sat 21-Sep-13 18:38:07

'The private renting rate is not overpriced, its the price set by the forces of the market.'

Ooo, yes, of course, that government that manipulates those market forces to suit its own ends.

expatinscotland Sat 21-Sep-13 18:39:11

'I feel it is just another way of this government making ordinary people resent each other to detract attention from their policies which are expanding the wealth divide'

Exactly, redshifter.

NotYoMomma Sat 21-Sep-13 18:39:50

because the government are more interested in keeping rents high, to make the housing market atm more appealing and keep it moving and growing, so they can manipulate figures to show a growing economy

while people in the real world count everypenny and struggle daily

NotYoMomma Sat 21-Sep-13 18:39:50

because the government are more interested in keeping rents high, to make the housing market atm more appealing and keep it moving and growing, so they can manipulate figures to show a growing economy

while people in the real world count everypenny and struggle daily

Viviennemary Sat 21-Sep-13 18:46:31

I absolutely agree with you. It's as if the only ones who matter are the people renting from the council. Nobody cares about private renters. It should be the same rule for both. Anything else is totally unfair.

redshifter Sat 21-Sep-13 18:46:49

What expat and notyomama said

HeadsDownThumbsUp Sat 21-Sep-13 18:46:51

I agree that both are scandalous. Like expat, I think the reason that the hardship forced on private renters who receive inadequate HB hasn't received enough attention is that it draws attention to how overpriced private housing is, and nobody in power seems to want to mess with the buy to let market, or do anything to detract from (or even stabilise) house prices.

It's horrible. I would be wary of making this a social renters vs private renters issue though. Both are in a horrible situation. Better to support any positive change, and use the gains to go forward in other areas.

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