What are your views on the bedroom tax?

(479 Posts)
Cheekychops84 Thu 16-Aug-12 11:45:35

the new tax for hb claimants where u loose some hb for bedrooms u don't need? we work so at the moment won't b affected but if workers later on down the line are affected I think is a bit unfair as we are paying all rent and bills ourself at the same price as Private Rent?

NovackNGood Thu 16-Aug-12 11:50:14

It is not a tax.

Callisto Thu 16-Aug-12 11:51:52

If you have more bedrooms than you need and you are claiming hb you should downsize.

NettOlympicSuperstar Thu 16-Aug-12 11:54:10

Why do you need extra bedrooms?
I currently need a three bed, for two people, due to disability, and it's been a total pita even sorting that out with the HA, even though they made the rule!

Cheekychops84 Thu 16-Aug-12 11:54:17

Yea I agree with that too but what if ur working then they start aiming it at working ppl?

bronze Thu 16-Aug-12 11:54:51

How would it work when they calculate how many bedrooms you are allowed then allocate an amount to you so if you choose a bigger house you tend to have to pay the rest yourselves anyway.

For example I have four children but with 3 being boys we would be also aged for 3 bedrooms. So I we decided to rent a four bed house we would still get the three bedroom amount and we would have to pay the excess. To then 'tax' that would ev unfair

Or have I got it wrong?

NatashaBee Thu 16-Aug-12 11:54:52

I think there's a limited amount of housing stock and a huge number of people on the list waiting for a house. They need to do something to encourage people to move on to appropriate sized houses. Would you prefer they just evicted people?

Sallyingforth Thu 16-Aug-12 11:54:54

Hard, but true.

threesocksmorganwinsgold Thu 16-Aug-12 11:55:02

i can see problems with it as it isn't always clear cut.
we have a 3 bed HA house, but even when ds leaves home we will need the 3rd room for carer in the future. so not sure would happen if we were on hb

Cheekychops84 Thu 16-Aug-12 11:55:11

We are overcrowded found a swap but will then have one room extra sad

Cheekychops84 Thu 16-Aug-12 11:58:12

We have 3 girls in a 2 bed at the mo and taken ages to find someone willing to downsize bit she has 4

NettOlympicSuperstar Thu 16-Aug-12 11:59:31

You should be able to keep it threesocks.
The reason I'm classed as needing three beds for two people is because one is needed for a carer.
I get full HB btw.

BaronVonAwesome Thu 16-Aug-12 11:59:46

You don't have to live in social housing to claim housing benefit. We rent privately, therefore no 'waiting list' for our house. Luckily our claim for housing benefit shouldn't be a long term one as I'm hoping to be well enough to return to work soon (recovering from cancer).

It does make me think though - would a family in our position be required to downsize? We both work, we have one DS who is a toddler and we live in a three-bedroomed terrace. I am off work but still employed even though I don't receive any money from my employment and we are surviving on DP's meagre wage and the very few benefits I am entitled to at the moment. Downsizing in our situation doesn't make any sense.

ErikNorseman Thu 16-Aug-12 11:59:47

This applies to housing benefit claimants rather than LHA I assume. I think people should be encouraged to downsize if they are in social housing with a bedroom they don't need. If the government make it easy for people to downsize rather than cutting benefits but leaving them stuck in properties they can't afford then I don't object.

ErikNorseman Thu 16-Aug-12 12:01:29

Baron - if you claim LHA then you cannot claim for rooms you don't need in the first place. I have a 3 bed house but only need 2 for LHA purposes, they cap my LHA at a 2 bed rate.

samandi Thu 16-Aug-12 12:02:06

I don't think it's unfair to lose benefit for bedrooms you don't need. HB should cover the minimum required.

OldGreyWiffleTest Thu 16-Aug-12 12:02:21

My sister is in a large 3-bed council property with a huuuuuge garden. She lives there alone. She refuses to move. This might make her change her mind.

She doesn't see the irony that her daughter, son-in-law, and 3 children are unable to get a council property and are currently paying £1500 private rent a month for a 3-bed house.

Cheekychops84 Thu 16-Aug-12 12:21:27

Yea I no an old lady in a 5 bed wants to move but council dnt care

TroublesomeEx Thu 16-Aug-12 12:22:25

Hasn't this always been the case?

They used to reduce the amount of HB paid if people had a dining room because it could be classed as an extra bedroom.

This isn't a new thing.

M0naLisa Thu 16-Aug-12 12:26:11

This isn't new. My sister is in a private 3 bed house and only her and her son living there. She's been there 2 years an has never had HB pay for the 3rd bedroom

BulldogDrummond Thu 16-Aug-12 12:26:28

If people have extra bedrooms, why don't they take in a lodger? Perhaps a single person on the local Council waiting list.

Am I talking rubbish? If I am, I'm sure someone will tell me. If they take a lodger, I suppose they will lose all sorts of benefits and they don't want to do that!

BeeBee12 Thu 16-Aug-12 12:28:11

I dont see the problem with it.Its usually the case that people claiming hb have bigger properties than homeowners so its fair really.I dont agree with it for the disabled.

TroublesomeEx Thu 16-Aug-12 12:29:20

Bull I don't think you can take on a lodger if you are claiming HB, but you could find someone to fill that room and then split the whole rent 50/50. This could still be covered by HB.

ErikNorseman Thu 16-Aug-12 12:30:01

Bulldog if you claim Hb and have a lodger you can only keep £20pw of what they pay, the rest is deducted from Hb. Logical but it doesn't help much with the Hb issue.

Cheekychops84 Thu 16-Aug-12 12:30:09

Unfair for the disabled. Can take years to get house adapted

TroublesomeEx Thu 16-Aug-12 12:30:33

Its usually the case that people claiming hb have bigger properties than homeowners

Mm, not sure there's any evidence to suggest this!

You can't claim HB for a bigger house than you need, they reduce the HB they pay.

Some people who are homeowners live in massive houses!

BeeBee12 Thu 16-Aug-12 12:34:21

Folkgirl - sorry should of said in my town.If youron hb you have the choice nice big house, garden etc but if you own all families under 30 I know live in a 1 or 2 bed flat.Y

TroublesomeEx Thu 16-Aug-12 12:42:48

Ah well don't even get me started on the reasons for that, BeeBee! We'd be here all day! grin

You still can't get HB for a larger house than you need. If you receive LHA it is possible to do that if you live in a poorer area.

Bumblebee333 Thu 16-Aug-12 12:44:08

Who is eligible for housing benefit? Is it worked out on your income?

BeeBee12 Thu 16-Aug-12 12:47:01

Yeah its on income.Here you can get lovely properties the kind that professionals live in.I realise its not like that everywhere but here its better to be on hb than paying mortgage really.

TroublesomeEx Thu 16-Aug-12 12:49:14

It is worked out on income, but they also consider the needs of the family and the size of the property.

They won't pay out HB for a larger sized property than the family needs.

BeeBee12 Thu 16-Aug-12 12:53:00

I think it must depend on area LHA allowances here mean a family of 4 can get a big house, garden, garage etc but to buy that would be 180k upwards

ratspeaker Thu 16-Aug-12 12:53:38

Its not a tax it's laying down in law the circumstance in which housing benefit will be payed. If you live somewhere that is deemed larger than required you will have to pay the extra rent amount yourself
Now that seems reasonable BUT I have heard that parents who have a child overnight say one day a week will have problems, that those needing a room for a carer will be the same.

These sort of rules already apply in certain local authorities. In Edinburgh, so I am told, a single unemployed under 25 year old will be told they will get enough HB to pay for a room in a shared flat.

Bumblebee333 Thu 16-Aug-12 12:59:55

People shouldn't take up big house that they don't need anymore. Unless you have bought a house surely you should always be prepared to leave it it the owners discretion whether the owner is the council or a private landlord?

gobbledegook1 Thu 16-Aug-12 13:00:09

If you have non resident children that stay with you under this new rule they won't be entitled to a bedroom at your property.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 13:07:45

So the poorest in society will once again be targeted.

No change there then.

Dahlen Thu 16-Aug-12 13:08:35

How can it be better to be on HB than paying a mortgage? At the end of the latter you own a house. confused

The only way to make this sort of situation fair is to build more social housing. If we want people to downsize as their housing needs change, (e.g. an adult child leaves home) then it would help enormously if the residents could move to an alternative house in their local area rather than several miles away in many instances. If you have younger children, for example, this may entail moving schools, increased commuting costs (let's not forget that only 1 in 9 HB recipients are unemployed), less close support network for elderly relatives, etc.

BaronVonAwesome Thu 16-Aug-12 13:13:08

Ah right, ok. I'm not sure how it's all worked out, we're had our claim in since APRIL and they are still faffing around telling us they need X proof of whatever even though they've previously said they don't, losing paperwork, etc. Basically we've not seen a penny from them yet and I'll probably be back at work before they pay up! At least it will clear our council tax arrears, whenever they pay up.

BeeBee12 Thu 16-Aug-12 13:13:24

I deeply regret buying a house dahlen.I worry about my kids getting picked on over it.Allmy friends agree that own places a child doesnt understand why they havent got a proper house or garden.It might be from hb but kids dot understand. I do think this evens things out a bit in my area where you can only get a nice place if a profession or on hb

The vast majority on HB are employed due to the high cost of housing and low wages. From what I've seen, I'm not sure how it is different from now where you only get what the LHA says you need for your family size, though I think it's going to make things more complicated for foster carers on lower incomes, people with non-resident children, and recent empty nesters who will be drawn between downsizing and wanting space for their children in their 20s in case they fall on hard times and are unable to get help due to new rules.

We have had a lodger while on HB. They have to either get their own claim or a certain amount is deducted. For us, we have to charge slightly over the average price of a room for our area to make it even, but really it has worked really well for us.

Prarieflower Thu 16-Aug-12 13:19:37

Sounds like a brilliant idea.

We have a family member in a 4 bed council house in Surrey with a huge garden.All her children have left home and the house would be far better suited to a new family.If said lady wants to pay for the unused rooms herself then fine I don't see why the tax payer should.If this persuades said lady to move into a property better suited too her needs thus giving a new bigger family a decent home it can only be a positive thing.

I rented for years privately and only rented properties suited to our needs ie I wouldn't have chucked money away on rooms I didn't need. Tax payers shouldn't fund people to do this who wouldn't dream of doing it if they were funding it themselves or at the full rental market rate.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 13:21:21

Why are posters making this all about social housing? plenty of people who live in private rents get HB.

BeeBee12 Thu 16-Aug-12 13:23:21

Im not talking of social housing Im talking about private housing.I only know a handful of people in social houses.An ex council house will set you back 150 only people in decent jobs live in them now

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 13:24:05

It's not a tax.

Thing is, where do you move/downsize if you have young children? Chances are, there will be no HA/council property available for a secure tenancy to which to downsize, so the alternative is to suck it up or try to find a private let that will take HB/LHA and all the insecurity that goes with that.

JamNan Thu 16-Aug-12 13:24:31

So the poorest in society will once again be targeted.

No change there then.

Usualsuspect is totally correct. It is a myth perpetuated by the likes of the Daily Fail that HB claimants are living an affluent lifestyle in large houses. The claim is assessed on how many bedrooms you need and your income which is means-tested - the cut off point being surprisingly low. The introduction of the LHA makes it even harder to find private rental accommodation that is affordable. Many landlords in the private sector will not take tenants who claim HB although one is not obliged to tell them. On the other hand it's a win-win situation for landlords with HB payments being passed on via their tenants to fund their Buy-to Let-mortgages.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 13:24:45

Exactly, usual. Private renters are subject to the LHA caps, though.

cantspel Thu 16-Aug-12 13:25:42

A Disabled tenant or partner who needs non resident overnight carer will still be allowed an extra bedroom. But non resident parents wont be.

Children of same gender under 16 to be expected to share and children of any gender under 10 expected to share.

I think that is pretty fair. Ok it is a bit thought on non resident parents but can the tax payer afford to pay for a 3 bed home when 2 of those beds are only being under 2 or 3 night a week?

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 13:25:45

Council/HA tenants who claim HB are subject to the bedroom rules.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 13:26:19

Where are all these smaller houses going to magically appear from?

Bumblebee333 Thu 16-Aug-12 13:27:31

So what's the maximum you can earn to be entitled to some help?

OddBoots Thu 16-Aug-12 13:27:42

In some cases it might encourage families to take in an elderly relative, that's not always for the best but in some situations it might be. I'm really not sure how it is all going to work with regard to the other change where under 25s will be expected to move back with parents rather than claim HB.

BeeBee12 Thu 16-Aug-12 13:27:49

Its not a myth here if you live in a low wage economy area dont south you get really nice properties on hb.It is different in different places I have friends and family up North and they have to live on actual council estates where as here most young families are priced out of buying a council house and they are all owned

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 13:28:30

So the poorest in society and a lot of working poor claim HB will have to up sticks and try and find a smaller house or become even poorer?

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 13:29:51

Exactly, they are saying no HB for under 25s and no HB for a spare bedroom.

I think they haven't quite thought this through.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 13:31:43

'So what's the maximum you can earn to be entitled to some help? '

It depends on your council as it's region-adjusted. Google your council's LHA rules and find out.

Emmielu Thu 16-Aug-12 13:36:05

Ok so steering away from HA. I'm going to use an example: (I stress example. This example isn't my situation)
I have 1 child. It's just me & her. I therefore will have to look at 2 bed places. Because there is 2 of us. That makes sense. If I needed a carer, I'd look for 3 bed. Makes sense. If I didn't need a carer & it was back to DD & me. Would I look at 3+ bed places? No. What's the point in that if there's no one to fill the space regularly. I'd be stupid to do it knowing a 3+ bed place is naturally going to be more expensive.

Unless it's needed. I don't think it's unfair.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 13:39:00

'I have 1 child. It's just me & her. I therefore will have to look at 2 bed places. Because there is 2 of us. That makes sense. If I needed a carer, I'd look for 3 bed. Makes sense. If I didn't need a carer & it was back to DD & me. Would I look at 3+ bed places? No. What's the point in that if there's no one to fill the space regularly. I'd be stupid to do it knowing a 3+ bed place is naturally going to be more expensive. '

Actually, in many councils, you and your daughter would be expected to sleep together. They would not consider a 1-bed overcrowded.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 13:40:44

And you can't really steer the situation away from HA beause you're talking about: LHA for private renters and then best of luck finding a private landlord who take HB AND your kids OR HB for HA/council tenants who have nowhere else to downsize to besides the private landlords, who aren't beholden to take HB or kids and most don't.

violathing Thu 16-Aug-12 13:42:17

What happens if your child leaves for Uni and has term time only accommodation? Are you entitled to one or two bed allowance? The chils will need the bedroom in hols etc

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 16-Aug-12 13:43:18

I think it's completely fair and long overdue.

Its social housing, which all of us should be entitled to, but aren't, because of the lack of it and the points system. So while there are so many people who are not getting what they are entitled too, those that are lucky enough to have social housing certainly shouldn't be getting any extra.

If you are paying the same rent as you woudo be in private, you are free to go and rent privately. Except then you won't have the security and the control over your home that you currently have. Social tennants are very very lucky, and have no right to gripe about the fact that they aren't going to continue to get more than they need.

Emmielu Thu 16-Aug-12 13:43:40

Expacts- that was a example. I know I'd be expected to have a 1 bed but because DD is 5 they've allowed me to bid on only 2 bed places. What I was trying to say was it's silly to be tenants in places with more bedrooms than you need unless you're planning a lodger too but obviously that's difficult with HA.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 13:44:46

Council house envy at its best.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 13:45:32

And once again why are people making this all about social housing?

groundhogmum Thu 16-Aug-12 13:45:45

I agree with this system - I live in social housing and had 3 children crammed into one bedroom for 4 years whilst waiting for a larger house. We live in an affluent area so private rental is unaffordable as we get no benefits at all.

Meanwhile, there are a lot of properties nearby which have 3 and 4 bedrooms but have just one person or a couple living there. I have a relative with a 4 bedroom property who is now being forced encouraged to move into a more suitable, smaller property. My relative would not move at all if she had a choice but why should HB pay for one person to stay in an enormous 4 bedroom house when families are crammed into tiny properties?

The biggest challenge in my area is that a lot of the "house blockers" are pensioners and they will not be affected by this change. I do feel for the people who like my relative, have lived in their social housing property for 40+ years and are now being forced to move. Unfortunately, the befeit system can't afford sentimentality wink

NovackNGood Thu 16-Aug-12 13:46:17

Oh the irony that those on HB moan about losing a bedroom they are not entitled to yet can afford to heat the larger place.

groundhogmum Thu 16-Aug-12 13:46:29


OddBoots Thu 16-Aug-12 13:46:35

I think it is more unfair that private renters have so little security, Outraged, it's not really a case that social tenants are very, very lucky it's that private renters are treated badly. In any case, this will apply to a great number of private tenants too.

ErikNorseman Thu 16-Aug-12 13:52:26

It's about social housing because private rent already has rules about numbers of bedrooms that you can claim for. This won't affect people in private rent.
Example; I have a 3 bed house, I work and alsI claim LHA. I have one son. My LHA is capped at a 2 bed rate anyway, I choose to pay the extra for an extra bedroom. I won't need to downsize because I already get the maximum for 2 people.

dryu Thu 16-Aug-12 13:54:14

First of all it's not a tax its a reduction in welfare payments.
I don't see what is wrong with the policy, if you have a house with more bedrooms then needed then you will be paying more rent then is necessary and as this is paid either in full or part by the State then this is a waste of taxpayer money and should be stopped immediately.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 13:57:19

The trouble is, there's nowhere to downsize for a huge number of people because a) LHA caps for private renters make private renting unaffordable, YES, even if they work! 80% of those who claim HB are employed b) lack of landlords willing to take HB claimants at all.

'What I was trying to say was it's silly to be tenants in places with more bedrooms than you need unless you're planning a lodger too but obviously that's difficult with HA. '

So, given this is the case, where do you go? Because you won't be allocated a place with more bedrooms than you need unless you needed them at the time you were allocated.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 13:57:51

but when your son leaves home you will have to downsize.

dryu Thu 16-Aug-12 13:58:51

Why shouldn't people downsize when their children move out?

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 13:59:04

I'd love to know where all these smaller council houses are going to come from.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 13:59:56

The poorest in society will have to downsize, even the working poor.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 14:00:12

'It's about social housing because private rent already has rules about numbers of bedrooms that you can claim for. This won't affect people in private rent.'

They have LHA caps, which are effectively the same thing.

And these caps will majorly affect those in private rentals, even in the appropriate numbers of bedrooms, as the difference between the cap and their rent may not be able to be overcome by the tenant, particularly lone parents who can only work so much and they can't downsize to say, a property too small for them as it violates the tenancy agreement (not to mentiion the whole find-a-private-landlord-who-takes-HB).

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 14:00:59

'Why shouldn't people downsize when their children move out? '

To where? All those lovely private landlords willing to take HB?

cantspel Thu 16-Aug-12 14:01:04

Of course there will be places to move to as those waiting over crowded on the waiting list will upsize and you will down size to the homes they vacate.

Or you could rent a small flat privately and still claim hb if entiltled.

I think in principal its a good idea.

Benefits should pay for what you need, not what you want IMO. If you need a 2 bed but want a 3 bed, either pay for it yourself, or stick with what you need.

The difficulties are in the details I suspect. Where are all these new properties going to magic up from? Are you going to be able to stay in the same area you are already in? What will happen to NRPs who have their kids alternate weekends - I dont think they get a bedroom do they? What the hell does a parent do in that situation? What about the under 25s?

Another thing I think needs to be looked at is why are private rents so much higher that council & HA rents? Is that because the council are so highly subsidised or because the private are making massive profits?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 16-Aug-12 14:01:45

Private renters already only get HB according to their need though, and if they want to top up themselves then that's up to them. It doesn't affect anyone else. But when they are taking up more social housing than they need then it's a different issue because it does affect other people, as in those that are on the waiting list.

Private renters do not get treated badly at all, many LLs prefer to have the same tennant for long periods of time. There are only so many rights you can give to someone over something that belongs to someone else. Private renters are not being treated badly just because the LL might need to sell or use their own property themselves.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 14:03:30

Private renters don't get treated badly??


There are at least 3 or 4 threads on here a week from private renters being scewed over by landlord or letting agent.

One right now who has been scammed out of her deposit.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 14:04:42

And the rules have or are changing for private renters as the LHA caps come in or are in.

Do you honestly believe all the people on the waiting lists are in council/HA properties now, cantspel?

A significant percentage of them are in a homeless situation.

cantspel Thu 16-Aug-12 14:05:38

No of a fair few will be or they will be living in private rents that accept hb

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 16-Aug-12 14:06:38

Those are individual cases though, you can't say that as a general rule private renters get treated badly, because many many of them don't so it would be inaccurate.

I may as well say that LLs get treated badly, but that would be equally inaccurate. Some do, but some don't. It's the same thing.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 14:07:05

'No of a fair few will be or they will be living in private rents that accept hb'

Oh, so the landlord is just going to be willing to swap? They are not under obligation to at all. Many may chose to sell up, occupy the property themselves or not take another HB tenant.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 14:08:00

'Those are individual cases though, you can't say that as a general rule private renters get treated badly, because many many of them don't so it would be inaccurate.'

Then it came be said that it's the general rule private renters get treated well, either, by the same token.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 14:09:01

Do you think it's easy to get a private rent when you claim HB?

cantspel Thu 16-Aug-12 14:09:04

But they could choose to do those things at any time anyway.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 16-Aug-12 14:09:27

True, but I didn't say that anyway.

ryten Thu 16-Aug-12 14:09:58

I don't understand why people think its the State's job to either provide or pay for people's housing for them.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 14:10:05

'But they could choose to do those things at any time anyway. '

Exactly! Which is why so many end up on wait-lists and/or in homeless accommodation and we have this massive problem now.

cantspel Thu 16-Aug-12 14:10:20

Depends on the area. I have a family member who has a few buy to lets and all his properties are let out to hb claimants.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 14:10:47

You said, 'Private renters do not get treated badly at all.' So that's not a general statement?

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 14:11:15

Well thats the HB paying his mortgages then, no wonder hes happy to accept HB.

bronze Thu 16-Aug-12 14:11:15

Treated badly is probably the wrong phrase but private renters have the security, which I guess can be galling as they tend to be paying the most for what they get.

(roofless private renter whose stuff is getting trashed)

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 14:11:19

But these new rules don't take the area into account.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 14:12:29

Private renters on the whole have little security of tenancy. Most are on short-assured/6 months contracts and even those on longer ones, we were on longer ones and they still had 2-month get out clauses.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 16-Aug-12 14:12:56

I understand the problems associated with getting private LLs to take HB, but I think LLs get unfairly blamed for that on MN.

The reason LLs don't like to take HB is because of other HB claimants being bad tennants, or because their mortage won't allow them to, or because they are worried that the tennant won't pay the rent and that if the council pay directly then they will be liable for paying the money back if the tennant falsely claimed.

HB claimants are to blame for LLs being reluctant to rent to them, its not LLs being difficult just for the sake of it.

bronze Thu 16-Aug-12 14:13:16

Less security

BeeBee12 Thu 16-Aug-12 14:14:18

If your not in luxury apartments or house everyone takes hb here.

Emmielu Thu 16-Aug-12 14:14:21

Expat- if I was in a 2 bed house & I didn't need a 3 bed I wouldn't bother with it. Why would I want to skint myself paying for a bigger place when I don't need one? This is what I've been trying to say. I've not managed to have my own place yet so yes I might not know everything there is to know but it's simple: if you don't need the extra room you shouldn't be entitled to it.

cantspel Thu 16-Aug-12 14:14:21

But i dont see these changes being bought in to because of the lack of social housing. I see it more to free up larger properties so you dont have people living in the same area with more than they need whilst others have less.
My cousin bought up a family of 4 mixed sex children in a 2 bed small ha flat. On the same estate you had childless and i child families in 3bed and 4 bed flats. How is that fair?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 16-Aug-12 14:14:41

It's a general statement that I believe to be true. Individuals get treated badly, both tennants and LLs.

But in general, private tennants do not get treated badly.

BeeBee12 Thu 16-Aug-12 14:15:06

Also landlords love hb its why most go in to it.Its easy money for them

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 14:15:44

'Expat- if I was in a 2 bed house & I didn't need a 3 bed I wouldn't bother with it. Why would I want to skint myself paying for a bigger place when I don't need one? This is what I've been trying to say.'

Because you may not be able to afford the appropriate alternative on the private market due to LHA caps.

cantspel Thu 16-Aug-12 14:16:30

No they are not paying his mortgages. They are paying their rent.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 14:18:14

The rent pays his mortgage though. So the tax payer is buying his house for him.

Can't hear you saying how wrong that is.

Emmielu Thu 16-Aug-12 14:18:28

I wouldn't be able to afford it expat you're right. But again I don't see why people should have places with more rooms than what they need when there are others that need the space.

BeeBee12 Thu 16-Aug-12 14:19:35

Hb does buy the landlords house thats why there are so many landlords

cantspel Thu 16-Aug-12 14:22:31

It is not wrong. It is a business like any other. As it happens he doesn't have mortgages on all the properties and no where near 100% mortgages at that.

It would be wrong to buy property and leave it empty.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 14:22:38

'But again I don't see why people should have places with more rooms than what they need when there are others that need the space.'

Because they have nowhere else they can afford to go, in all likelihood.

Emmielu Thu 16-Aug-12 14:24:49

If they go for places that are too big for them then they're effectively making themselves skint. Isn't is common sense to only stick to what space you need?

It is going to cause us problems.
Because of the kids' differences (all ASD but present completely differently) the boys sharing a room is untenable. It affects their mental health and actually they've ended up really hurting each other because they can't cope with the sensory overload from each other.

We're now in a house where they have their own rooms but this is going to affect us as on paper they should share.

The fact they cannot share has been backed by the consultant paediatrician and SS by the way. We can't move and put them in the same room. Not an option.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 14:27:15

But you moan about the taxpayer paying for extra bedrooms but not about HB being used to pay off LLs mortgages.

You can't pick and choose what to moan about.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 14:28:18

'If they go for places that are too big for them then they're effectively making themselves skint. Isn't is common sense to only stick to what space you need? '

They are not and never allocated places that are too big for them from social housing unless they presented with that need when their tenancy began.

No one rocks up to the council or HA and says, 'I need a 4 bed,' and gets it unless they have that need.

And, once those circumstances change, due to LHA caps and lack of landlords willing to take HB, they may not be able to afford to move.

Usual If you dont agree with HB essentially buying a house for someone, then what would you suggest? Someone has to own private lets. (note I can barely afford my own house let alone a buy to let one aswell)

Are you advoctaing that private LLs dont accept HB and therefore the tax payer is not buying their houses for them?

Do you advocate more social housing so that the money goes back into the general coffers?

Do you agree that Right to Buy schemes are wrong, and essentially the tax payer buying houses for people?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 16-Aug-12 14:30:10

HB doesn't buy LLs houses. HB pays rent, and that covers maintenance, the LLs time in sorting out problems, repairs to anything that needs fixing.

Being a LL isn't as easy as taking money from one person and paying it to the bank.

Anyone had the opportunity to become a BTL LL back in the days of 100% mortgages, I don't understand why LLs get such a slating on here. No one ever complains about the individuals that bought their council houses for way less than market value, and that contributed to the housing problems we have now just as much. In both instances, it is the systems that have been to blame, the banks for giving out 100% mortgages and the councils for selling off their properties. The individuals have done nothing wrong.

cantspel Thu 16-Aug-12 14:30:27

They are not paying the mortgage. They are paying rent on a property. It is then up to the owner how he uses this money.

Some will be using it to pay mortgages, some wont have mortgages.

Are you saying no one should rent property out unless they own it outright?

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 14:33:00

I'm saying that people choose what to moan about. People are so quick to say why should we the taxpayers pay for someone to have a bedroom they don't need.

But no one gives a stuff that the same tax money often buys a house for a LL.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 14:33:17

Also, the rules do not affect the largest group of over-occupiers: pensioners.

FiveMonths Thu 16-Aug-12 14:34:24

I feel sorry for people who will have to move, but I think it is possibly fair for new applicants iyswim - those who have not yet moved in and settled and so on. I don't know enough about it to say.

We are in private rental and I have a fairly large bedroom, which is used for storing all the bedding, lots of baby equipment and toys and so on, also has the only bathroom as an en suite which obviously we all share.

my two children share a very small bedroom, they have bunks but most often decide to sleep in my bed with me.

I'm expecting another baby, we don't want to move so the baby will be in with me for at least the first few years, probably till it starts school - by which time ds1 will be a teenager, and I have no idea how we will manage.

Might have to think about sleeping in the living room on the sofa, so he can have the big room.
At least I'm not likely to be hounded out of a place that is too small, that's a positive.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 14:35:36

Many will not be able to move, so they'll just be poorer.

But that would be solved by not letting HB tenants in Private lets, which people then moan about.

Personally I think they should build more social housing and scrap Right to Buy.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 14:37:26

Exactly expat, but thats a good thing apparently.

But after all why should someone in social housing have something that they haven't got.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 14:37:30

Because to move, you need to have the money for that, too - first month's rent, deposit, moving costs, able to pass a credit check, letting agent fees if need be, etc.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 14:38:20

I agree I think they should scrap Right to buy and build more social housing.

cantspel Thu 16-Aug-12 14:38:37

But then people moan landlords wont accept hb.

It seems like they can never win. If they only take private they get slated and if they accept hb then people moan they are getting their mortgage paid.

It is better that landlords provide decent homes and some get hb for it than leave property empty or exclude a large number of the population becasue they dont want benefits claimants

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 14:38:52

Completely scrap Right to Buy! Many councils already have, thankfully.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 14:39:00

I was being sarky grin

Orwellian Thu 16-Aug-12 15:12:06

I agree with it.

No reason why people who have been provided social housing should live in properties bigger than their needs. And hopefully those that cannot afford a cut in HB will downsize so that households who really need the extra room can utilise these public assets.

FiveMonths Thu 16-Aug-12 15:17:53

I don't understand how having tenants who get HB in private rental is 'buying a house for someone on HB'

It's not, it's paying the mortgage of the landlord - we don't get to keep the house.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 15:18:46

No one said that confused

The HB is buying the house for the LL.

FiveMonths Thu 16-Aug-12 15:19:10

Oh sorry I misunderstood. Fair enough.

cantspel Thu 16-Aug-12 15:19:17

I think they mean buying the house for the landlord not the tennant

FateLovesTheFearless Thu 16-Aug-12 15:20:17

This house is technically a four bed as my brother put in an extra room, yet hb is always for a three bed. I agree with it, you shouldn't get for what you don't need, but if there are genuine reasons for needing an extra room that should be taken into consideration.

FiveMonths Thu 16-Aug-12 15:25:24

Our LL was left this huge property by his parents when they died. I believe it still had a mortgage on it so he rents it out to pay for this, at very low rent - he isn't greedy and doesn't care about market rates as long as he has happy tenants and can pay what he owes.

He lives in a tiny place himself.
I am tbh f*cking grateful to have landed up somewhere like this. I'm not sure what else he was meant to do with an inherited property - which now houses three fairly poor families including ours.

I don't begrudge him the HB he gets from us. Not one bit.

Cheekychops84 Thu 16-Aug-12 15:27:15

But what if u downsize cause ur kids are under 16 then they will likely live with u longer like till in their twenties then u need back that house u originally had to downsize from? U will b forever moving?

MissFaversam Thu 16-Aug-12 15:32:32

I agree with this to some extent, I live in a 1 bed housing association with a 14 year old son. He has the bedroom and I have a fold out bed in the living room.

its not just about space it's about where you live too though isnt it. Say someone has been in a house for 30 odd years, it her "home" with all around her being familiar and the coucil come along and turf her out to an area that's far away and she loses the whole community in which she grew up in?

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 15:34:55

I think people forget that they are talking about peoples homes and that social house tenants are actual people.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 15:38:33

'And hopefully those that cannot afford a cut in HB will downsize so that households who really need the extra room can utilise these public assets. '

Can't see that happening on a grand scale because, again: a) there is often no alternative council/HA property available for such people b) that means they have to go private and, with the LHA caps, may not be able to afford an appropriate-sized property at all, or not have or be able to save the money, for years, for moving costs c) find a landlord who will take HB.

And nail hitting head, usual. All moaning about how these 'social housing' people are getting something from the taxpayer others are not, but none about buy-to-let landlords getting a free second (or more) home from the taxpayer paying the tenant's HB (and again, 80% of those claiming HB are in employment).

Cheekychops84 Thu 16-Aug-12 15:39:19

I agree with it when it comes to hb footing the bill as this would save a lot they also have a choice weather to downsize or stay there but if your working and paying in full surely ur helping to fund more homes being built?

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 15:43:43

Pensioners are exempt from all this.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 15:44:48

These threads always get to me, I should hide them really.

All this talk about 'social housing people' as if they were a completely different species to everyone else.

DeathMetalMum Thu 16-Aug-12 15:47:40

My only problem with this is the lack of two bedroom houses available. There are not many at all in my area.

We are in a HA property (second floor flat) and due to expecting our second child we are eligible for a move. We are eligible for a two or three bedroomed house.

We have yet to find a two bedroomed house to bid on in the areas which df is able to travel to work, and also affordable ie low council tax areas.

Cheekychops84 Thu 16-Aug-12 15:48:07

Yea like they don't count some have been in the homes and communities for years! Perhaps if they were given more options/help/info on downsizing they would consider but the HA jus seem to leave them to it

My dear old uncle believes that this problem would be fixed by the government owning all the houses, and everyone just pay rent hmm

groundhogmum Thu 16-Aug-12 15:48:44

I agree with this in theory but the practicalities worry me a little - my relative is slightly disabled, can get about a little and is alone in a 4 bedroom house. She is completely on benefits and has a choice to stay in her family home of 40+ years and lose out on £25 a week, or she can move.

She has lived in that house most of her life, doesn't want to live elsewhere but she will move as financially she cannot afford to lose the £25 a week! What happens if there are no smaller properties available? Will she end up having to pay out even though she is willing to move?

Cheekychops84 Thu 16-Aug-12 15:50:47

Think under new changes ur entitled to a two

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 15:50:47

The theory and the practicalities don't really add up do they?

Sabriel Thu 16-Aug-12 15:51:37

Can't see what the problem is really. Why should somebody in subsidised housing have extra rooms they don't need when there are other people who do?

If you want a bigger place then pay for it yourself.

But cheeky and usual this is why whilst in principal I agree with the policy, I just dont see how unless there is more social housing it can work.

Why is there such a rent divide between public and private? Is it that public is much cheaper or private too expensive? Is the answer to put a cap on rental anyone can charge?

I dont know, but I dont think this policy is going to magically solve the housing problem. I suspect it may save the Government a few bob in the short term, but when noone can afford their private rental caps, and cant find somewhere else to move to that they can afford and isnt squalor, what the hell is going to happen then confused

Cheekychops84 Thu 16-Aug-12 15:52:38

No usual they don't think they would b better off pushing PR down and making them offer same security as HA homes

Sabriel I dont think anyone is saying that they should. I think what people are saying is that people are choosing to live in a 3 bed council or HA property because that is cheaper than living in a 2 bed private rental or I might have got that wrong. That is what the problem is. Because if you cant afford to move to private, and there are no other smaller council houses you can move into then you are fucked basically. Thats what im saying in any rate

Cheekychops84 Thu 16-Aug-12 15:56:02

Magic think we are going to have a big homeless issue ! Also think those from EU shudnt have been automatically as soon as they come here be eligible for SH as I know a lot have I think u should have at least resided/worked her for 2/3 yrs before becoming eligible as we are so short nowsad

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 15:57:01

Yes I think that private renting needs to change, longer tenancies would help for a start.

This will do nothing to ease the housing situation.It's just to satisfy all the people who believe all they read think that social housing tenants are living the life of riley.

MissFaversam Thu 16-Aug-12 15:59:47

No usual you are right they don't.

I do however think that the council/housing association does have some sort of incentive thing going on though already which is far fairer.

They offer removal costs and a sum of money to redecorate if you vacate a property that is too large and put you high up on the choice list (if you know what I mean).

Cheekychops84 Thu 16-Aug-12 16:01:53

Lol we are struggling and both work ft well Im on maternity leave at the mo so even more worse off but we work hard I worked 50 hours a week whilst heavily preg and we still cudnt afford £1200 a month for a PR !

The trouble is you see only a few all people on benefits and claiming HB are living in mansions, trashing them, are lazy scroungers, and get everything handed to them on a plate, whereas the poor hardworking people who get no benefits are funding this lifestyle for them, and its not fair. Why should they get something for nothing when the hardworking general public do not!

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 16:03:57

I don't know what council tenants are supposed to do if there are no smaller properties to move into?

DeathMetalMum Thu 16-Aug-12 16:03:57

You get a redecorating grant regardless of wether you downsize or not in our area. It is only able to be used for paint, wallpaper and toold for redecorating. No flooring or carpets. There is a list given with it for what you are allowed to buy.

Cheekychops84 Thu 16-Aug-12 16:04:02

Yes miss which is I think enough but they don't really publicise that enough! Especially decorating costs which if I've just paid £1000 for new carpets us b pretty peeved that u now have to move and do it again!

OddBoots Thu 16-Aug-12 16:04:08

I do think it is really wrong that you pay less tax on an empty property, I do think there should be an extra tax for owning a home and keeping it empty for more than a couple of months unless you can show you are genuinely trying to sell or rent it at a reasonable amount.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 16:05:19

People like to conveniently forget that many social housing tenants are hard working folks as well.

HappyOrchid Thu 16-Aug-12 16:05:52

OTOH my sisters neighbour has a large 5 bed house that has been adapted at the cost of the taxpayer to accomodate 1 or 2 children with disabilities. This was because she was long term fostering and had her own grown up daughter living there.

Now through various circumstances the daughter has moved out and the lady is no longer fostering. So there she is a single person living in a purpose adapted 5 bedroom property - is that right? So what incentive does she have to move?

Cheekychops84 Thu 16-Aug-12 16:06:10

Yea wasn't there some family in London in a huge 6 bed flat screen tv's every room and rent was like 4000 a month all paid by HB think that is what this rule is targeting?

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 16:08:03

Well we all know someone...

Yes, and being honest cheeky I think it is ridiculous that a family can be housed on HB in a luxury pent house apartment, or a large 6 bed town house valued at over 1 million. That the problem, because the majority of people get riled about that, and so joe bloggs in the street whos got an extra bedroom because there was no smaller houses available, or because 1 child has just moved out, gets caught up in the backlash.

Cheekychops84 Thu 16-Aug-12 16:10:53

Lol true usual! Down here tho there are a lot of 1/2 bed properties with 3/4 kids squished in them so shunt b hard for ppl to downsize here

Cheekychops84 Thu 16-Aug-12 16:13:05

Yes but what i'd like to know is what happens if 17 yr old johnny moves out count afford it after a year of trying and wants to move back in ? Do u join the transfer list again to b offered bigger place then he moves out again u downsize again etc ridiculous I think 1 extra room then u need is fair as life changes

Dropdeadfred Thu 16-Aug-12 16:13:42

are people genuinely not understanding that alot of two bedroomed places in the private market cost alot more than 3 bedroomed depending on the area. so moving to a smaller place is not always possible or financially viable

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 16:15:35

I agree cheeky,because he wont be able to get HB if hes under 25 to get his own place. So if you have been forced to downsize when he left home what the fuck happens then?

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 16:17:00

No I don't think people do understand that. They just see the council house tenants in bigger houses than them ,so spout off.

achillea Thu 16-Aug-12 16:18:19

This is only for HA and council properties and doesn't apply to private rented accommodation.

The Government’s impact assessment shows that those affected will lose an average of £14 a week. Housing association tenants are expected to lose £16 a week on average

Big deal. £14 a week for a bedroom you don't need isn't a lot of money really.

achillea Thu 16-Aug-12 16:20:27

I think it's crazy that we subsidise housing for the wealthy. There is no upper earnings limit on having a council property which can cost less than a quarter of average rents.

Cheekychops84 Thu 16-Aug-12 16:21:28

£50 a month ! If iur in PR it applied already they only pay HBfor rooms u need

Cheekychops84 Thu 16-Aug-12 16:22:51

I think sort PR out to b same as SH abd 1 spare room allowed for life changes

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 16:22:53

Anyone who thinks that £14 a week to some people is not a big deal is a bit out of touch really.

bureni Thu 16-Aug-12 16:23:03

I think a lot of the problems in private rental are the greedy landlords who can charge thousands of pounds per month for property not worth a 10th of that simply because the tax payer will pick up the tab, it is about time the government put sensible caps on the rental cost of property which in turn would bring housing benefit down to a sensible level. Perhaps if the same HB system that is used in N.I was put into place then people could afford decent housing at low costs which in turn benefits the tax payer and the HB provider.

but why is private rental so much more expensive Thats what I want to know.

I know a couple of people who have BTL properties, and they are not making bucketloads off the back of their rent. The rent tends to cover their mortgage and general repairs.

I come back to that we need more social housing, scrap RTB and ill add in cap private rental.

That or all start living in tents on common land, bet that'd motivate the powers that be!

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 16:30:24

Maybe her Maj could let a few of her rooms out?

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 16:31:09

I mean it's obscene how many bedrooms shes got going spare.

achillea Thu 16-Aug-12 16:32:55

Anyone who thinks that £14 a week to some people is not a big deal is a bit out of touch really.

It is a big deal to some, but it is a spare bedroom in housing subsidised by the taxpayer. People should downsize.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 16:34:22

Downsize to where exactly? Because if they downsize from a council property to a private rent they will be even worse off.

NovackNGood Thu 16-Aug-12 16:35:08

Usualsuspect why do you always come across as full of the politics of jealousy?

achillea Thu 16-Aug-12 16:35:22

Maybe her Maj could let a few of her rooms out? - couldn't agree more. She didn't even let anyone sit in her spare seat at the Olympics, that would have helped save the taxpayer £2000.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 16:36:11

Jealous me? nah I think you got that the wrong way around.

But its not that simple is it. e.g I moved out at 19 to live with my friends, 18 months later I was pregnant. I moved back home to live with my dad after my delightful partner tried to beat the baby out of me.

If dad had been a HB tenant, once I moved out he would have had to downsize as he would have an an extra room, but I wouldnt have been able to move back in. Where would I have gone?

My bro moved out to go to uni, he had a breakdown and moved back home. If dad had downsized (either through choice as he thought he had got rid of us or forced because of HB not subsidising extra rooms) there would have been nowhere for us to go back to. And even better than that, under 25s will be expected to go and live with their parents under these new HB rules!

Im confused about how its going to work and I agree with the fucking policy!


bureni Thu 16-Aug-12 16:39:10

Is there any form of housing benefit cap in Britain, what is the maximum anyone can receive in HB per month?

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 16:40:26

I don't see how both the downsizing policy and the no HB policy for under 25s can ever work,

usual maybe the plan is to drive all the under 25s back home and then the people with spare bedrooms wont have spare bedrooms anymore. That would free up houses I guess hmm

groundhogmum Thu 16-Aug-12 16:42:56

My relative has HB of £103 a week at the moment to pa for her 4 bedroom house. When the "bedroom tax" comes in, she will only receive £75 HB, having to find the remainder herself.

However, average 1 bedroom private rental in her area is £100 a week, HB will cover that for private renting but only pay £75 social housing rent.

This is not all about money as in my relative's case she is going to pay the same amount (from HB) for a smaller property. This is about freeing up houses for families who are desperately overcrowded or homeless.

I honestly think it doesn't go far enough and we should also be doing something to incentivise under occupying pensioners to downsize too.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 16:43:46

It's madness grin

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 16:45:21

Where would you like all the pensioners to go?

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 16:45:48

Stick them in a nice high rise?

cantspel Thu 16-Aug-12 16:46:01

Surely people cant expect to keep bedrooms empty for years just incase their grown up son/daughter needs someone to put them up for a while?

bureni Thu 16-Aug-12 16:46:21

groundhogmum, could I ask if the 103 pounds HB per week covers all the rent or does your relative have top it up?

achillea Thu 16-Aug-12 16:49:02

groundhog if your friend downsizes it this means that a family with 3 or more children have a home to move into and that will save the taxpayer a heck of a lot more.

groundhogmum Thu 16-Aug-12 16:50:55

Bureni that covers all the rent - I am well aware how good that is!!

Usual - we have lovely bungalows and flats in our area which are specified over 55's only. In my 4 year wait for a property the over 55 availability hugely outweighed anything suitable for families. Why should anyone have a taxpayer funded 4 bedroom house when they live alone? Especially as our area has a shortage of family sized properties.

cantspel No but the son/daughter cant claim housing benefit if they are under 25 I think because the expectation is that they should go home to live with their parents.

I believe the policy is the right thing to do, I believe benefits should be there for essentials. I dont think extra rooms are essentials, and therefore shouldnt be funded.

But I am a bit confused about where everyone is supposed to go

achillea Thu 16-Aug-12 16:52:58

This rule will not affect pensioners. I do wish people would read the facts.

achillea Thu 16-Aug-12 16:53:07
usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 16:53:13

We do have bungalows, not exactly lovely, but no where near enough to house all the OAPs you want to turf out of their homes.

bureni Thu 16-Aug-12 16:54:26

Thanks, just trying to fiqure out what the HB cap is in Britain or if there is one at all, having read that some houses are costing 1500 pounds per month I was wondering if the entire rent could be covered by HB as the limit in N.I is about 360-370 PCM

cantspel Thu 16-Aug-12 16:56:17

No under 25's can claim but they can only claim a room rate so would be expected to get a flat share or bedsit

cantspel Thu 16-Aug-12 16:58:12

sorry that is as it is now not iwith the furture changes

That makes a little bit more sense then.

So they wont get HB?

Arrgghh im confused. Maybe I should take myself off and read about the changes first hand. smile

achillea Thu 16-Aug-12 17:00:30

NO OAPS ARE AFFECTED. In case you didn't hear me.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 17:01:30

I know, I was responding to someone who said it should apply to OAPs.

groundhogmum Thu 16-Aug-12 17:01:52

I just don't think the pensioners should have any extra special privileges, if my relative had been born 2 years later she could stay in the house she is in now - how is that fair? She is in a huge house alone but given the choice she would have stayed in that house forever. Meanwhile, families are overcrowded elsewhere.

It isn't fair to force people into moving but the bottom line is that we don't have enough houses so nobody should expect to underoccupy a property at tax payers expense.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 17:03:24

She won't live forever though.

groundhogmum Thu 16-Aug-12 17:09:20

She could have another 30 years in her with a bit of luck, and she really can't manage the house, its sentimentally that has made her stay. I do think it is in her best interests to move and have said to her she will look back and think it was the best decision she ever made! One of her neighbours is 10 years older, alone in a 3 bedroom house and yet she gets to stay as she is a pensioner.

achillea Thu 16-Aug-12 17:11:25

bureni the Local Housing Allowance is different in each area but is around £1000 a month for a two bedroom flat in London. So no, it will rarely cover a private rent. However council rents are much lower, everywhere. So council tenants will be fine and can have rent covered by benefit. This bedroom tax is only for people in subsidised housing (Council or Housing Association).

While I agree with people not taking the p* with social housing, I do agree that this tax is completely cock-eyed. They should be charging everyone who has a good income a much higher rent for subsidised housing. Pay poor people in any housing, not rich people in social housing subsidised by the taxpayer.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 16-Aug-12 17:15:57

OAPS shouldn't be affected the way things are at the moment, but there's no good reason why someone in their sixties couldn't move out of a property that is too big for them.

Hopefully this rule will prevent people from staying in 4 bed properties when they don't need them in the future, so eventually we won't have a problem with people who are too old to move taking up houses that should be given to families. People need to be made to leave family houses when their children have moved out so that they don't end up still being in them when they are too old to safely be moved.

flapperghasted Thu 16-Aug-12 17:16:35

I think about my poor old mum, who paid for her house many, many times over via the rent system, who couldn't afford to buy her council house because of a husband who drank and was not good with money. They were only on benefits toward the end of their lives as my dad's employer absconded with his pension money in the last recession.

I think of an old lady who hated change and who kept her council house immaculate and clean for the 40-odd years she had it. A 3 bed house with 6 children at one point. She lost her husband to cancer whilst she was in that house. It was all she had in the world and she loved it dearly.

And I read on here that people think it's ok that she should be pushed out into a smaller property, possibly some distance from where she currently lived, because she was hogging 3 beds. I thank God that my mum is gone now. She can't be affected by any of this nonsense.

When I'm older and contemplating the end of my life, I hope that I have the sense to take on something smaller. I don't rent, though, so I'll have the privilege of keeping whatever house I happen to have.

As someone said earlier...bashing the poor again.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 16-Aug-12 17:18:48

Plenty of owner occupiers downsize when their children have left home, there is no reason why tennants can't do the same.

achillea Thu 16-Aug-12 17:20:43

I'm with you groundhog, there are a lot of people rattling around in houses, including my own mother, but you just can't kick them out at the end of their lives, it's morally wrong.

On the other hand it is unprecedented that we now have extremely wealthy pensioners whose children are much poorer than they are, and have nowhere to put their own children. Some people would say that's morally wrong, but the ones rattling around don't, they just think we don't work hard enough!

What will happen after this bedroom tax is that there will never be OAPs rattling around in social housing any more, because by the time they reach pension age they will have already downsized. I'm starting to think this is a good idea and I'm a socialist...

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 17:20:45

'And I read on here that people think it's ok that she should be pushed out into a smaller property, possibly some distance from where she currently lived, because she was hogging 3 beds. I thank God that my mum is gone now. She can't be affected by any of this nonsense.'

But someone in their 40s who's been in that house all their lives, should be pushed out?

Pensioners won't be affected, yet it's likely they are the most significant percentage of over-occupiers.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 17:23:05

'Plenty of owner occupiers downsize when their children have left home, there is no reason why tennants can't do the same. '

Owners who downsize have been, until recently, in profit upon the sale of their homes, with capital to downsize.

We're talking about poor and working poor tenants here who will be hard-pressed to find a LL who will take HB, won't be able to afford top-up rents with the LHA caps.

But hey, stuff 'em!

achillea Thu 16-Aug-12 17:24:45

Why shouldn't they move to make space for young families that need a home? Why would you want to have more space for yourself that you don't need and expect other people to pay for it?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 16-Aug-12 17:56:53

Right, so poor people who are fit and able bodied should be exempt from any of the hardships of life, shouldn't have to move house like the rest of us do, should just be able to stay put their whole lives no matter how many families are desparate to move into a property suitable for their needs then?

The HAs and councils aren't going to force people out onto the streets FFS, they won't be made to move until there is somewhere for them to move to! They might have to Move out of their chosen area, but again, why should people be exempt from that? It's not that big a deal, and people often move for work, or family or other reasons.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 18:00:43

'Right, so poor people who are fit and able bodied should be exempt from any of the hardships of life, shouldn't have to move house like the rest of us do, should just be able to stay put their whole lives no matter how many families are desparate to move into a property suitable for their needs then?

The HAs and councils aren't going to force people out onto the streets FFS, they won't be made to move until there is somewhere for them to move to! '

No, HA's and councils aren't going to force them to move, instead they'll just be poorer, particularly those who are lone parents and so only one person can work and as HAs and councils have so little housing stock anymore, that could be a while.

And this doesn't make them exempt anymore than anyone else, it just makes them poorer and less able to be able to move to private rent because they will be even less able to save up the money needed to move to a private rental.

flapperghasted Thu 16-Aug-12 18:02:53

I believe most home owners who downsize when the kids move out make a profit. And they choose to move.

If you have your house just the way you want it, but your kids have gone off to uni, it'll be alright to make you move into a 1 bed home that needs everything doing to it? They won't move people like for like, ie they won't check that the neighbourhood is similar or that your new place is well decorated and cared for, but hey....you've had your time with the house. Time to move on now your kids are grown and your value in the world has completely diminished.

People don't just invest themselves into private housing...they do the same with rented homes. And that's the problem here. Houses become homes, places with good memories and our particular persoality stamped upon them.

I could say, I've got my own place so I don't give a monkeys about what happens to anyone else.

If the government hadn't been so gung-ho about selling off social housing in the 80's/90's, there would be enough property to go round. But don't push the gvtmnt to rectify this. Let's just push people out of their homes. For once I'm actually glad about the Human Rights laws from Europe.

achillea Thu 16-Aug-12 18:08:07

Of course houses become homes and over the years become more than just rooms. But when those rooms become empty you can't expect anyone else to pay for them. Keep your empty bedroom if you like but pay extra for it. If you don't need it you can't expect the taxpayer to pay for it for you.

But equally, if you are wealthy you shouldn't be paying the same for a council flat as someone who is earning peanuts.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 16-Aug-12 18:11:00

But people dont have some God given right to live in a simelar neighbourhood in a place they have stamped their personality on to be paid for by the state no matter how many children are growing up in overcrowded conditions because there isn't a social house for them.

That lovely MN phrase Sense of Entitlement is ringing through loud and clear from some of these posts and it's so selfish.

I realise it might be tough for people to have to move if they don't want to, but this stuff happens to owners as well as renters. For many reasons. It's life.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 18:11:24

'But equally, if you are wealthy you shouldn't be paying the same for a council flat as someone who is earning peanuts.'

Or have your buy-to-let properties paid for by taxpayers via HB?

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 18:13:44

Owners have an asset. These people do not. In addition, unless they are offered another HA/council property, many will be unable to secure another tenancy - lack of landlords willling to take HB, rent to people with children, money for moving, etc.

But hey, to the wall with 'em, they're only the people caring for elderly in care homes, providing vital but low-paid service to the rest of us, etc.

Psammead Thu 16-Aug-12 18:18:30

Quick question, sorry if it has been answered.

My parents own their home so are not in this situation, I'm just curious. They are a retired couple with a 3 bed house.

The do a lot of child care for my neice, including having her stay overnight with them about 3 nights a week.

They also have us staying with them a couple of times a year for 1-2weeks a go.

Where would they stand if they were on hb?

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 18:20:21

Are they pensioners? If so, nothing. Pensioners are exempted from this.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 18:21:15

Sorry! I see they are retired. Nothing would happen to them.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 18:21:46

They'd still get all their normal HB even if over-occupying.

StaceeJaxx Thu 16-Aug-12 18:22:14

It will effect us now, (DH made redundant 2 weeks ago sad). We live in a 3 bedroom HA house. I have 3 girls and there's me and DH. But DSD at almost 20 and working full time doesn't get put into the equation when we're claiming HB as she works. So even though all our bedrooms are occupied (with 2 of those bedrooms having 2 people each in them). We can't downsize because then DSD would be homeless.

I know we have some money taken off our HB because DSD works under the old system. Which she now has to make up from her wages (we didn't take any keep off her when DH was working). Which is fair enough, but under the new syste, they're going to take even more money off our HB because they don't count DSD in the equation. hmm Which is a bit stupid if you ask me. SHe can't afford to move out because she's on minimum wage and all the private rentals in our city even for bedsits are ridiculous. So we're stuck!

BeeBee12 Thu 16-Aug-12 18:24:28

Landlords will start taking hb expat as that is what happens when there are no council houses in an area and a lot of people are on low income.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 16-Aug-12 18:24:48

If they can't secure another tennancy then they won't have to move.

So what if owners have, or had, an asset? What difference does that make to the way you feel if you don't want to move? Money, if you still have it, isn't going to make any difference to things like moving away from an area you know well and such like.

Owners can work in care homes and work in not very well paid jobs too you know.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 16-Aug-12 18:26:34

Stacee, your DSD would probably be able to claim HB to the value of her room.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 18:29:01

'If they can't secure another tennancy then they won't have to move.

So what if owners have, or had, an asset? What difference does that make to the way you feel if you don't want to move? Money, if you still have it, isn't going to make any difference to things like moving away from an area you know well and such like.

Owners can work in care homes and work in not very well paid jobs too you know.'

No, they'll just be poorer.

So what if owners have an asset? Well, they have something they can rent out, for one. They may have capital to release to afford a private rent, they have something to sell if they can. Those are some pretty major differences from a tenant in a HA/council property.

My objection to this was never about someone's need to stay in a particular area, so I don't really know why I'm responding to that element of your posts.

Mine is that it's all ill-thought-out plan, and exempts the largest percentage of over-occupiers, who also don't have anywhere else to go in many places.

Psammead Thu 16-Aug-12 18:29:12

Thanks expat.

cantspel Thu 16-Aug-12 18:29:15

so everyone in in social housing is a low paid carer work?

None of them are feckless or earning over min wage?

And everyone one who owns their own home is well off, living the life of riley and so should just suck it up and keep paying their taxes.

There are reasons you need an extra room, as I said in my case on page 5 that case is disability. Doctors and SS have said we need to stay in a 4 bed.

We're now going to have to find extra funds to stay here.

Oh and the rent here isn't a quarter of private rents, it's 70% of private rent around here govt are forcing HAs to raise rents to 70% of private levels.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 18:42:35

'so everyone in in social housing is a low paid carer work?

None of them are feckless or earning over min wage?

And everyone one who owns their own home is well off, living the life of riley and so should just suck it up and keep paying their taxes. '

Of course they are all feckless and don't pay tax or are multi-millionnaires. That's why they all need punished! Except nice old people who over-occupy. They're all lovely WWII veterans or tragic widows.


Owners can claim HB, too.

achillea Thu 16-Aug-12 18:44:30

Good. About time. The only fair way is to make HA rents closer to private rents. Then they wouldn't have to mess about with these silly extra room rules.

Glitter don't worry, it doesn't affect those with care needs. Disabled tenant or partner who needs non resident overnight carer will be allowed an extra bedroom

taken from here www.housing.org.uk/policy/welfare_reform/bedroom_tax.aspx

NovackNGood Thu 16-Aug-12 18:44:57

Ah as always when the entitled money for nothing crowd know their argument is lost and without reason they resort to ad hominem about little old ladies or the handicapped.

Novak who are you referring to there?

Am I 'entitled money for nothing'?

It's a real situation, it's really happening, and it's really happening to my family.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 18:47:17

Why assume everyone who has a different viewpoint from yours is on benefits?

I've tried to explain over and over again why I feel this policy is ill-thought-out and therefore will not achieve its aims, but only make poor and working poor even poorer, because the problem is lack of affordable housing to rent and insecure tenancies in the private sector.

Oh and the circumstances of my life mean I'm now on carers allowance in social housing wheras ten years ago I was in a well paid job and a homeowner, it could happen to anyone.

Is that why people deride me, cos they think then it won't happen to them? It might.

NettOlympicSuperstar Thu 16-Aug-12 18:52:33

I am an entitled sort, and pride myself on it.
<watches flatscreen with goat>

Honestly though, I've given up on this sort of thread, because the ignorant won't listen.
Pointless exercise.

cantspel Thu 16-Aug-12 18:55:19

Owners can claim HB, too.

no they cant.

achillea Thu 16-Aug-12 18:56:47

Stacee, your DSD should be able to get housing benefit if she is on a low income. She could then rent a place of her own, and she should certainly apply for a housing association flat. If not she could then claim the amount you have to pay extra for the room.


BeeBee12 Thu 16-Aug-12 18:56:51

Owners cant claim hb if me and dh were in a rental we could claim but not in a mortgaged flat although would count as low income.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 18:58:03

Yes, they can. It's called Support for Mortgage Interest.


It's a benefit, as you can see.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 18:59:16

It's designed to help those who become unemployed or lone parent not lose their home and become homeless.

BeeBee12 Thu 16-Aug-12 18:59:16

not the same its not an in work benefit

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 19:00:52

'not the same its not an in work benefit '

And? Plenty of people get working tax credits that other working people don't, or child tax credits, other in-work benefits.

BeeBee12 Thu 16-Aug-12 19:01:56

Its the only benefit that you cant get if your on the same income.tcs anyone can get below a certain income.hb you cant

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 19:03:17

and so, because you don't get it, since you own a home, no one else should? because it's staring to sound a little sour grapes if that's so, IMO.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 19:04:24

Plenty of people lost their Child Benefit and Child Tax Credits. They were not happy that others still get them.

BeeBee12 Thu 16-Aug-12 19:05:24

No not no one else should get it buylt just a fairer system.As I have said here unless you qualify for hb you have to live in a poorer quality property its the way the system is set up no incentive to do more

Same as losing money for uping your hours so it becomes pointless working or working more hours its a silly system.

cantspel Thu 16-Aug-12 19:05:34

It is only paid to the unemployed and only cover interest on a mortgage not the actual mortgage and then the rates are set b y the government and wont in most cases be the rate that is actually paid.
You only get it on the amount you borrowed so if you have additional borrowing on the house it is not covered and it wont cover arrears which theyu will have as you dont get it for the first 13 weeks.

cantspel Thu 16-Aug-12 19:12:06

and so, because you don't get it, since you own a home, no one else should? because it's staring to sound a little sour grapes if that's so, IMO.

NO but why should a home owner who can only buy what they can afford and then make it work regardless if they have 4 children in a 2 bed sit by and be happy to see people to live in larger homes than they need and the bill be picked up by ha?

achillea Thu 16-Aug-12 19:12:45

cantspel, mortgages are usually part interest and part capital. The banks want you to pay interest only, or interest first, because it means that they retain more of the capital, so they own your property for longer. The government can't pay for something that is essentially owned by the bank, eg the capital, (they would then officially own part of it) so they pay the interest instead. If you have a mortgage you then have to arrange with the bank to make sure they pay interest first. It should amount to the same as your mortgage payment.

cantspel Thu 16-Aug-12 19:16:24

No in all cases as they will only pay 3.63% so if your interest only mortgage is set at 5 or 6 % you will have to find the extra.
Plus if you are claiming smi as you are unemployed you better get a new job quick as you can only claim for 2 years.

Socknickingpixie Thu 16-Aug-12 19:22:59

does everybody think that people who recive hb get all the rent paid for them? its actually worked out on a pound for pound basis the gov says what you need to live on each week.you have certain premiums that are protected i.e

£64.99 for each child
£17.40 being a family
£71.00 single parent over 18 but under pension age
cant remember what couple premium is off top of my head
you get additional premiums at various levels if your a carer or disabled.(if you get CA you are only allowed to keep £32.60 of it the remaining £20 ish is taken off you)

they add these figures togather and call that an applicable amount.

they then work out your income disregard certain things like DLA/CB/maintainance/£25 earnings if in work but not on sick leave/ML then they take what is left and anything that is higher than your applicable ammount gets split between rent/CT and you have to pay that.

its perfectly possible for a person to recive say £4.27 a week hb and no ct benefit.paying the remainder of the rent themselves

if you live in private rented nothing gets paid that takes you over the LHA. if you live in social housing then you lose 14% if you under occupy by 1 room 25% if by 2 rooms.this is deducted from the whole award

BeeBee12 Thu 16-Aug-12 19:31:34

The LHA gets you a much bigger property than most workers could afford thats why most people cut back their hours here.

achillea Thu 16-Aug-12 19:52:03

That's a good point - the LHA is certainly low in relation to private rents here in London. I wonder who sets the LHA in the first place? Seems crazy.

littlemisssarcastic Thu 16-Aug-12 20:08:48

Have read the first 3 pages of this thread, and am surprised so many people agree with the new HB rules regarding spare rooms.

I know of a number of people living in 2 bedroomed social housing properties, where their child/children have moved out, yet they cannot downsize because there is nowhere for them to go. 2 bed social housing properties are the most abundant in my area, followed by 3 bed houses, then 4 bed properties, then 1 bed properties, then 1 bed bungalows, and finally 5 bed houses.
Where do all of these 1 bed properties come from if you occupy a 2 bed property but only use 1 room?

That's not to mention how completely unfair this new rule is on some disabled/sick people.
How many of you who agree know that tenants who are a couple, but who need to sleep apart because of a medical condition, will still lose part of their HB if they are occupying 2 bedrooms to sleep in, because as a couple they are expected to share a room, even if a medical condition means they cannot do so??

cantspel Thu 16-Aug-12 20:32:58

That's not to mention how completely unfair this new rule is on some disabled/sick people.
How many of you who agree know that tenants who are a couple, but who need to sleep apart because of a medical condition, will still lose part of their HB if they are occupying 2 bedrooms to sleep in, because as a couple they are expected to share a room, even if a medical condition means they cannot do so??

where do you think they sleep if they are owners of a one bed in the same circumstances? Why should it be different if you rent?

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 20:33:58

Have you no compassion at all cantspel?

Cheekychops84 Thu 16-Aug-12 20:34:02

Exactly I think one spare room maximum which has been the law up to this point anything more then that should b liable to a charge ? We have a lot of 1 and 2'a around but not many 3/4's so it could help around here but most of the 3/4 are elderly who r exempt

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 20:34:48

Do you think renters are second rate citizens that don't deserve a quality of life at all?

achillea Thu 16-Aug-12 20:35:15

I don't think I agree with this either, but there is a shortage of social housing and this is the best way of helping people on the housing list. They can't force you out and it will never be more than £14 per week per room.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 20:35:37

Do you think owners don't claim any benefits at all ?

achillea Thu 16-Aug-12 20:40:32

Cheeky there is a variation in different areas, I don't know how they are going to address that. London is full of 2 bedroom flats and no family homes, the rule suits us here but it may be very different in different areas. In London most people would kill for an extra room for £14. I know I would!

expatinscotland Thu 16-Aug-12 20:43:38

It's not going to help because private rents are too high and tenancies insecure. So low-income people will probably just mostly suck it up unless there is a viable alternative, which there isn't thanks to LHA caps and landlords unwilling to take HB. Pensioners exempt so they won't be going anywhere fast.

TheMysteryCat Thu 16-Aug-12 20:43:51

it's just smokescreening, daily fail-pleasing bollocks.

there are over 500,000 empty homes that belong to the various local authorities across the UK which they are still not making any attempt to let.

Second home owners pay virtually feck all in council tax for their second homes, even though they are driving people out of their communities, because the housing prices rise so high local residents can't afford them.

and, why is it deemed so wrong to have a spare room? it could be a study/office for a self-employed person, or a room for regular visitors, e.g. GPs who might also need to do childcare for example.

And it's that person's HOME!

there has long been a scheme where you get more housing transfer points if you want to downsize, and sometimes cash incentives as well. this is the appropriate way to help move this forward.

lest we forget in all this shit media coverage, that the main reason there is a huge shortage of social housing stock is because of the Tories selling them all off in the 80s.

NovackNGood Thu 16-Aug-12 20:45:54

Which is it shortage or 500,000 house glut. Make your mind up

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 20:47:18

The way people talk about social housing tenants as if they are non humans to be used to satisfy the twats who believe all the Tory bollocks about feckless scroungers disgust me.

TheMysteryCat Thu 16-Aug-12 20:50:14


make my mind up on what?

there are several factors leading to low housing stock:

500,000 unoccupied homes
failure to regulate or use effective taxation for second home ownership
change of law in the 80s permitting people to purchase local authority owned houses

cantspel Thu 16-Aug-12 20:50:54

usualsuspect i dont want to throw them on the streets or make them live in one room without heating but why should you get a spare room when if they were a home owner they wouldn't.
If home owners are expected to cope with sofabeds then so should a renter.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 20:52:36

Why should the poorest in society make all the sacrifices?

TheMysteryCat Thu 16-Aug-12 20:53:44

cantspel but at the point of housing need they weren't given a spare room; their children have to share bedrooms and they are unlikely to have more than a kitchen and a lounge, so no dining space.

NovackNGood Thu 16-Aug-12 20:54:54

So allowing the poor to achieve their dream at the rime of finally fullfillng their aspiration of home ownership in homes that they had basically payed for during the previous years was wrong whilst there area stlll by our figures over half a million empty houses was wrong.

Cheekychops84 Thu 16-Aug-12 20:56:19

Well £14 a week is still a lot sad we are jus outside London it's a 7-10 yr wait for a 3 bed. Took me 5 yrs to get a 2 bed which we now have 3 girls in very squished so looks like we stuck heresad

cantspel Thu 16-Aug-12 20:56:40

Loads of people have no dining space so i dont see that as any reason why someone cant have a sofabed in the lounge if due to some health issue the couple dont want or cant share thir bedroom any more.

NovackNGood Thu 16-Aug-12 20:56:46

They have a spare unneeded room now and now another family is in need the selfish poor want to draw up the drawbridge and say I`m aright jack.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 20:59:01

Damn right they need to hang on to that house.

TheMysteryCat Thu 16-Aug-12 20:59:04

it's social housing stock; if people want to own their own homes, save up a deposit and get a mortage.

there are many more than 500k of people on the housing registers across the UK.

the gig is generally fucked though because property prices and rental prices are way higher than they should be in comparison to earnings.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 21:00:02

Ah so now the poorest in society are responsible for the housing shortage.

Thought so

TheMysteryCat Thu 16-Aug-12 21:01:33

novackngood Right! hmm soooo.... what are the rich doing to help then eh? why is it always those who are the poorest that are asked to pay for the rest?

ModreB Thu 16-Aug-12 21:04:10

The problem is that the housing stock is so low, that it is difficult to downsize. For instance, if I lived in a 3 bed house, but only needed a 2 bed, there is no housing stock available in my area of that size. So, I would have to move to a new area, move DC schools, work, etc for something that was not my fault. Why should I be penalised if I am trying to move but there is nowhere to move to in my area?

Also, my local council policy is to give people with children, who need a 2 bed a 3 bed, so why should I be penalised for their decision when I would have been happy with a 2 bed?

Socknickingpixie Thu 16-Aug-12 21:05:03

and those of you who keep quoting that website that says disabled people who need a carer or have a need to have their own room will not be affected need to know that is not true.and is evidenced by the areas who have allready put the changes into force and are using the formal issued guidelines.

the guidence sheet sent out to every LA(and currently laminated and sat on the desks of every hb employees desk) actually states the room disregard applys to everybody even a disabled person with a none residential carer. the reason why they say it wont impact on them is due to the descretionary housing payment fund accesed via hb who as a direct result of the welfare reforms have had the budget massively increased to make additional descretionary contributions towards rent any housing benefit claiment can apply for this and to do so they want to know your outgoings. they do not HAVE to pay anybody under any circumstances anything from that fund,they have no rules only guidelines. its a seperate claim procedure and worked out in a different way and they are perfectly at liberty to send you back a snotty letter telling you to spend less on certain things or use your disallowed income.

for those of you who have no idea how hb actually works there are a few things that you need to know.

you can only claim it if you have a legal enforcable agreement (tenancy agreement/mortgage)
you cannot claim it if a family member owns the property or rents the property.
as soon as a child ceases to be entitled to CB they cease to be a dependant so if they remain in your home you get the room disregard plus also get hit by the none dependant deduction but your child cannot claim any hb towards the rent.

TheMysteryCat Thu 16-Aug-12 21:05:06

usualsuspect of course they are [roll eyes] wink

tis always the poor, not the greedy rich. ach well, the 1% brainwash the 99% into believing it's their fault as always.

what irritates me the most is that it will invariably be someone supporting them who is just as likely to become one of the "poor" at some point. so much easier to point the finger if it makes you feel you can gain a step up the social ladder at the same time...

NovackNGood Thu 16-Aug-12 21:05:30

It's the rich and struggling middle class who are paying for all those spare bedroom blocking entitled freeloaders.

Usual suspect you come out with the same nonsense on every thread. "Why should the poorest in society make all the sacrifices?"

Yet you fail to realise that free healthcare, free education, free housing, spending allowance without a single days work every being done are already very costly and huge benefits for them already. Professional counciling at every stage of there life over and over and yet you can never explain why should the people who work keep paying for others to have things that many of those who work do not have nor cannot afford.

Cheekychops84 Thu 16-Aug-12 21:05:44

Lol think I know another reason other then right to buy y housing is short SH will never keep up with demand especially with low wages ! If we could save a deposit and get a mortgage I wud as living like this not knowing if ur home will b taken away is a great way to live not! To b honest this will b hard for them to keep in top of as ppl's situations change all the time.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 21:07:32

You really are quite stupid.Do you really think everyone in a council house doesn't work?

cantspel Thu 16-Aug-12 21:10:19

2 bed housing stock will become available as people have to downsize so those in a 3/2 bed will move to a 2/1 bed depending on need, the 3/2bed will go to those who needs it,

TheMysteryCat Thu 16-Aug-12 21:13:04

novackngood i'm sorry, but you are just reiterating a myth. many people on HB ARE working.

we have a welfare state; it provides for everyone. so the rich or struggling middles classes can access free healthcare and free education as well. they can also register for social housing if they wish too.

and what spending allowance? seriously? they receive a small amount of money to cover essentials, whilst also jumping through hoops, filling out endless paperwork and being monitored throughout. everytime their circumstances changes they have to report in like naughty children and risk their benefits being stopped or changed at the whim of whichever government or change of legislation.

they have little or no stability, and become easily trapped in a system that just about keeps them safe, but can be hard to get out of.

and the real reason they are still poor? because the rich in our society will not share their wealth. people are kept down by low, unliveable wages and in shoddy poor accommodation owned in the main by people with more than enough capital.

Socknickingpixie Thu 16-Aug-12 21:14:23

9 out of 10 HB claiments are employeed

NovackNGood Thu 16-Aug-12 21:17:49

So filling our a form to prove you are indeed who you are is now classed as jumping through hoops and endless paperwork. LOL

Rich will not share their wealth!! What nonsense.

Cheekychops84 Thu 16-Aug-12 21:20:02

Novacandgood think that's right? Most of my friends Inc myself work and work really hard in rubbish paying jobs! Paying full rent ok maybe I should have concentrated more at school and become some high up executive so I could buy my own 5 bed house and pay tax for the poor to live on but I didn't . But I cannot afford to rent private to mortgage or to part rent part buy I have no choice well I do I could make myself homeless maybe you would like that jus see us all on the street at least then u cud spit on us as u walk by?

TheMysteryCat Thu 16-Aug-12 21:22:13

I'm not sure you have any idea.

the inital HB paperwork is more than 15 pages, plus a requirement for multiple copies of all sorts of documents; bank statements, cb paperwork, employment contracts etc etc.

then it takes 2-4 weeks to process and then a decision.

then repeat this process everytime anything changes; e.g. extra shifts, your work level drops, you are given a bonus or payrise etc etc.

can youi imagine how hard this is to do if you are a single working parent who has a temporary job, for example?

and it becomes a necessity to have it, because the rent levels are typically around 50% of a monthly salary, as are childcare costs... so exactly what is left for bills, food or anything else.

NovackNGood Thu 16-Aug-12 21:22:26

Ad hominem nonsense. Nowhere have I ever seen on mumsnet anyone say the begrudge welfare for the needy as a safety net.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 21:23:31

You should live in a cardboard box ,cheeky grin

That would please 'em.

NovackNGood Thu 16-Aug-12 21:24:05

Wow so 15 pages is now beyond the wit of those who expect society to subsidise their lifestyles

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 21:24:10

Maybe their council house is their safety net.

cantspel Thu 16-Aug-12 21:25:17

No one has said to throw people on the streets nor that only the unemployed claim hb.

But the simple fact that people seem unable to grasp is that the hb bill is increasing year on year yet there are still people getting hb for a property that is larger than their needs whilst others sit waiting in temp homes or over crowed homes. This country cannot afford to cover the cost of this any longer. It is not proposed to bring back the poor house just limit what you can claim to what you need not what you want to hang on to.

NovackNGood Thu 16-Aug-12 21:25:57

Then they don't need extra rooms then do they?

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 21:26:11

So what are you going to do to help the homeless?

Cheekychops84 Thu 16-Aug-12 21:26:35

Yea cardboard box sounds good!

NovackNGood Thu 16-Aug-12 21:28:57

They are implementing that now as seemingly after over a decade of the socialist in charge not only did they bankrupt the country they failed to house the most vulnerable by giving out the social housing to those without any thought of how it could best be utilised.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 21:31:09

They give you a house according to your needs at the time of applying.

Cheekychops84 Thu 16-Aug-12 21:33:42

Anyway do u think this is likely to spread to ppl who don't claim HB? Like ppl who work?

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 21:36:03

People who work do claim HB.

cantspel Thu 16-Aug-12 21:36:32

They give you a house according to your needs at the time of applying.

So if your needs change then so should your house. After all plenty who were given 2 beds now need 3 beds and so apply for larger housing.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 21:39:32

I was answering Novack who seems to think they hand out 4 bedroomed houses willy nilly.

Cheekychops84 Thu 16-Aug-12 21:39:46

Yes usual I know but we don't don't think we qualify but do u think it will spread to ppl that pay full rent themselves?

Canspel but do u think it would b unfair to have to maybe move a lot? Especially of it is to different areas? Like u start with a one bed have a kid move to a 2 have another 2 kids move to a 3 one kid moves out back to a 2 other 2 move out back to a 1? Silly really

NovackNGood Thu 16-Aug-12 21:40:21

Exactly cantspell. The entitled seem to have no problem thinking it's 'erfectly acceptable for someone on benefits to get pregnant and then claim a need for a bedroom more then get it given at no expense then fail to grasp that the process should work in reverse too.

TheMysteryCat Thu 16-Aug-12 21:41:08


i'm not sure how you can try and claim this is a problem caused by the labour party when it takes generations housing needs to change like this.

additionally, it was not given out with no thought to how the housing stock could be best utilised. the housing needs assessment has not changed substantially. but people have aged and their children have grown older.

to come back to another point... people need to apply for HB or other benefits because their finances have changed. i just hope it never happens to you. it's scary and worrying.

Socknickingpixie Thu 16-Aug-12 21:41:33

novack these are the people who will be penilised by the changes (incidently its not £14 a week thats just an average)

anybody whose child leaves education or starts uni even if they stay at home.
anybody who has a medical need to sleep alone if an adult in a couple.
anybody who has more than one child of the same sex up to age 16.
anybody who has more than one child of a different gender under 10.
anybody whose child has medical reasons to need to have a single room.
(even if to not do so constitutes criminal neglect)
(even if the square footage of the house means its legally overcrowded)
anybody who has a disabled adult who they are not in a relationship with living with them.
anybody who fits into the criteria who actually works.

blended families with children who dont share the same parents
foster carers.

as well as the people in to big houses unless those people are oap's

this will lead to significant issues,ask CAB and shelter it allready has even tho some areas only rolled out the changes this april. a return to overcrowded slums where more children than beds can fit into a room are the norm (this was recently used to bring charges of neglect along with other charges "forcing children to share beds" was the evidence wording in court).children are turfed out into bedsits because you can no longer afford to keep them at home,as well as so many other things.

if you own a house and need a bigger one you have the option to sell it and buy one,you can pick the area you have so many more choices and options you are not punished because you own. some of these extra bedrooms your banging on about being evidence of feckless or entitled behaviour are tiny box rooms that can only fit a bed in them. more people who claim HB work then dont,the ones who work rarely get full HB they do pay rent they do pay CT (oh and that rumor that they get free water and other such utilities is utter bollocks)

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 21:45:08

These fantastic Social houses are often damp and mouldy too, but thats ok renters don't deserve decent homes.

NovackNGood Thu 16-Aug-12 21:48:20

So now filling out a form is scarying and worrying. And the reward of money for nothing and housing subsidised by the rest of society is not enough that they at least provide their details in whatever language they can is too much too ask.

bronze Thu 16-Aug-12 21:49:12

My private rent is damp and mouldy too
It's making us ill sad

Viviennemary Thu 16-Aug-12 21:49:15

It is not a tax. A tax is what you pay from money you earn. It is more of a clawback I would say. I don't agree with all aspects of it for example if people need an extra room for a carer. But in general if people have extra rooms they aren't using then I think it's fair.

NovackNGood Thu 16-Aug-12 21:50:38

So getting a bucket of hot water and a few drops of clove oil to clean away the damp is beyond their wit too?

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 21:51:27

Oh FFS stop being so ridiculous.

TheMysteryCat Thu 16-Aug-12 21:52:41

having no income, or an income which is not enough to live on or coverour bills is scary and worrying.

why is it "money for nothing" if you have paid into or supported a society which is a welfare state?

and what's language got to do with it? oh, let me guess... it must be the furriners taking all money and social housing? am i right?

bronze Thu 16-Aug-12 21:53:09

Damp isn't that simple. You can help by bleaching away the spores but ours in so much of the house and under the wall paper. Wasn't it Brittany murphy and her husband who they think may have been killed by mould.
(we are in the middle of getting a new room so fingers crossed)

bronze Thu 16-Aug-12 21:54:12

room roof

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 21:57:23

A new roof? is it beyond your wit to use a black bin bag for a roof?

Socknickingpixie Thu 16-Aug-12 21:58:03

and dont forget that a huge amount of them dont even meet the acceptable home standered that was apparently surposed to be implimented by now.

but hey ho your now poor that means you still cant have double glazing,central heating, a bathroom thats newer than 20 years or a even vagulely decent budget kitchen. electrics that fit current legislation.repairs carried out within a reasonable time limit even if they are priority repairs.unless your one of the lucky ones whose homes have allready been done.

for those of you that seam to think grants get thrown at social housing tenants for the fun of it.
you can not obtain a decorating grant if you obtained your current home as a result of a mutial exchange or if one has been issues at your address within quite a few years even if it wasnt used as intended

you cannot claim a moving grant unless you fit a very weird and strict critiera.

NovackNGood Thu 16-Aug-12 21:59:16

Not that I knew who Britany murphy was or did I need to but you can easliy find that damp had nothing to do with her death whereas the "elevated levels" of hydrocodone, acetaminophen, L-methamphetamine and chlorpheniramine. All of the drugs were legal and the death was ruled to be an accident, but the report observed: "the possible adverse physiological effects of elevated levels of these medications cannot be discounted, especially in her weakened state

Rich and poor deal with damp every day in their houses Some get on with cleaning and treating it others expect the rest of us to move the to a more salubrious place to live.

BeeBee12 Thu 16-Aug-12 21:59:40

Most places are damp and mouldy in certain areas regardless of being sn owner, rented or council

bronze Thu 16-Aug-12 22:01:03

You joke usual
All our stuff from the attic is in our bedroom and we were away so the builders slacked and the LL didn't keep tabs so they weren't done before the rain kicked in. All our things are now covered in bin bags (though some is already trashed)

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 16-Aug-12 22:02:12

if you own a house and need a bigger one you have the option to sell it and buy one, you can pick the area you have so many more choices and options

And this is the problem. That so many people that don't own think that owners live on a bed of roses where you can choose whatever you want with money being no object. It's not like that.

Owners buy where they can afford, they take a risk, they face losing their home if they get made redundant and can't get another job quickly enough, they have the stress of finding enough money to pay the mortgage on their own without being able to rely on money being handed out in return for filling in a few forms, they have the full responsibility of finding the money to pay when the boiler breaks down or a pipe bursts and for all the other maintenance issues that renters don't have to worry about. They DO NOT have the option to just sell and buy a bigger one just because they feel like it, and the fact that anyone can be that misguided astounds me.

BeeBee12 Thu 16-Aug-12 22:04:47

Cause you cant just buy a new house.I expect I will be way in to my thirties before we can afford a house we just cram the kids in and hope for the best. You have to fix it, maintain it, if you have damp you just have to get over it.

WetAugust Thu 16-Aug-12 22:06:30

Plus stamp duty, plus surveyors fees, plus mortgage arrangement fees, plus conveyancing fees, plus estate agents fees, plus removal company costs......

every time a home owner has to move house

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 16-Aug-12 22:07:00


do you think renters are second rate citizens who don't deserve a quality of life at all

Don't be silly. Since when was a spare bedroom the thing to have to secure quality of life? hmm

bronze Thu 16-Aug-12 22:07:42

Stamp duty, solicitors costs, maybe estate agents...

It seems there is no easy answer
Though tightening up/ having decent laws would help

Socknickingpixie Thu 16-Aug-12 22:09:27

outraged i own my own home.if i want a bigger or smaller one i can just sell it and but a different one.

if my circumstances change and i lose my home if it is not my fault and i am not concidered to be intentionally homeless then i can apply for social housing just the same as any other homeowner.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 16-Aug-12 22:09:44

Why should the poorest in society make all the sacrifices

Because they put the least into the pot whilst taking the most out.

Why should the rest of us that are barely covering our own tax and personal living expenses have to subsidise anyone who isn't ill or disabled?

BeeBee12 Thu 16-Aug-12 22:11:01

sock most people dont have any of those options they are just stuck in the same place they had when single/ no kids

cantspel Thu 16-Aug-12 22:11:54

nybody whose child leaves education or starts uni even if they stay at home.

They can contribute the extra from their student loans
anybody who has a medical need to sleep alone if an adult in a couple.

Do what you have to do if you own and buy a sofabed

anybody who has more than one child of the same sex up to age 16.

This board is full of posters telling others that it is ok to share rooms and it is only rencently that we have expected to give them one each so why is it different to make them share under these circumstances?

anybody who has more than one child of a different gender under 10.
ditto as above

anybody whose child has medical reasons to need to have a single room.
(even if to not do so constitutes criminal neglect)

Do what people who own do and the parents take the smaller room or sofabed and divide the larger room in 2 with a stud partican

anybody who has a disabled adult who they are not in a relationship with living with them.

The disabled adult will qualify for benefits in their own right so will be able to contribute the extra needed.
anybody who fits into the criteria who actually works.

blended families with children who dont share the same parents
foster carers.

Why can blended children not share, in the same way they would share if the parents owned.


if you own a house and need a bigger one you have the option to sell it and buy one,you can pick the area you have so many more choices and options

An owner cant just sell. It cost money to sell and more money to rebuy and where they buy is limited to what they can afford.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 16-Aug-12 22:12:58

Really Sock?

I own my own home too, mortage free, but I certainly couldn't afford to move into somewhere bigger. Where are the extra thousands to pay for upsizing, solicitors fees, moving costs, stamp duty etc supposed to come from to enable me to move somewhere bigger just because I own?

How do I actually come out of downsizing better off once I have paid for all the expenses?

I'd love to know, maybe I'm missing something.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 22:15:29

No one gave a toss about how many bedrooms council house tenants had until the recession hit. You were just glad you didn't have to live on the nasty estates, Like I said before council house envy it aint pretty

cantspel Thu 16-Aug-12 22:17:52

I moved this year. It cost just under £25k once i had paid stamp duty, estate agents fees, solicitor bill and surveys.

I only moved as i needed room for my mum but no one said you need the extra room so fill in this form and we will send you a cheque for the £25k

Socknickingpixie Thu 16-Aug-12 22:19:21

outraged now your just being very very stupid. the poorest in society may not have allways been so they may very well have paid into the system.you dont know what they have or havent paid in. a very low percentage of hb claiments are people who have never worked.

and as to barely covering your own tax dont be a twat, you get taxed according to your income same as every other person.

BeeBee if you are in that suituation i very much recamend that if your house is concidered to be genuinely unsuitable and you are genuinely unable to afford to buy a suitable place you give shelter a call. you have many options such as part rent part buy.

BeeBee12 Thu 16-Aug-12 22:22:49

sock - Im not the only one in this situation 1000s of people are I dont think shelter would care as I still have a roof over my head that I am glad off.I just dont think its right people living in decent houses when owners dont get that luxury or when families need it and people who have spare rooms they might not even be using.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 16-Aug-12 22:24:52

No, we don't know how much each individual has paid in, but that's not the point. You pay in to recieve back what you need. No one needs spare bedrooms.

You get taxed according to your income when it comes to income tax, but not when it comes to stamp duty, or VAT on essential house maintenance, or car tax for the car that is essential to get you to work and your children to school.

achillea Thu 16-Aug-12 22:34:02

Cheeky, your point about 'upsizing' as in when you have more children isn't all that valid really because when children are young they share anyway. I think it's when the oldest reaches 8 that they have to have separate rooms and that is a fairly acceptable time to move if that's what is required. It's what normally happens.

socknicking spare us the dramatics please. This is a minor rule that I believe is aimed solely at preventing people having large council homes that the taxpayer subsidises and that they then retain for 30 years or so after their children have left home, regardless of their income or assets. There are so many things in your post that you have wrong that I'm not even going to start.

As I said, most people in London would be more than happy to pay a little bit more for an extra subsidised bedroom. It will be charged at 14% of the total income of the property, averaged at £14. A 3 bedroom flat in Camden is £150 a week, meaning the spare room is costing people £20 a week. It is less than half the cost of a comparative private rental.

NovackNGood Thu 16-Aug-12 22:34:25

Well the end of it all is that the vast majority want these sensible and reasonable changes and they are coming in and with labour being unelectable with Milliband in charge and the real possibility of Scottish independace leading to labour never getting a majority in westminster again there is frankly nothing your whinging will do to change things.

achillea Thu 16-Aug-12 22:49:49

grin I don't know whether to laugh or cry at that remark. It is indeed very sad.

It is important that we pick our battles. The coalition's biggest mistake, the one that costs us most dearly is that they aren't dealing with the banks and big business that suck millions out of our coffers every day. The pharmaceuticals peddling dodgy drugs to the NHS, the offshore brigade, the absolutely minted people that live in this country and choose to spend their money on stupid things when it could fund a scanner for a hospital or a charity for a year, the Supermarket moguls who force our farmers out of a living and store their profits abroad. Those that pay lawyers the highest price to win cases against the most vulnerable in order to retain their Company image.

These are the things the labour party should have been dealing with all those years - this coalition certainly won't. One thing they are trying to do, it seems, is make the basics more fair and just, closing loopholes and things like the LHA have really scuppered overpriced rents and accordingly, will bring rental property price down.

I do strongly believe that the labour party will have to tackle the big issues if they ever do come in again.

Socknickingpixie Thu 16-Aug-12 22:51:19

cantspel. how much do you think these magic disability benefits are? lots of them are actually intended to be used for needs arising as a result of your disability.not housing.
what if you allready have a sofa bed being used?

you need permision to build a stud wall in most LA/HA housing you will not get it if the room is not deamed large enough to do so. often the smal room is not big enough to fit a bed suitable for 2 adults to share.

how many kids would you bung in one room if you could only fit 1 or 2 beds in it at a push?

i quite agree that lone people shouldnt be in far to big houses but the main group of people in this suituation are exempt from the rule.
but i dont think that people should be caused issues because of a poxy box room or if they have a reasonable legit reason to have a extra room.and i dont think a 15yo should be expected to share with a 1yo.

outraged not paying in was the very reason you gave and is the reason you consistantly give in any benefit bashing thread.

stamp duty land tax or what ever its called now is based on your propertys value. vat is purchase based poor people buy stuff as well.your children if they are not privatly educated are entitled to free school transport if the school is more than a certain distance away providing a suitable one is not closer.
poor people are expected to fund there own work transport as well.

Socknickingpixie Thu 16-Aug-12 22:58:56

achillea then why are that group of social housing tenants exempt from the rule?

as to the dramatics, are the cab and every other benefit advice service being dramatic as well? the info you keep linking to is not the info that has been recived by hb employees.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 16-Aug-12 23:17:14

Stamp duty is based on your properties value, yes, but I don't see how that means I somehow have the option to move if I want to. I don't. Therefore I don't have a spare bedroom, which is fine because I don't need one. But then neither do lots of people who live in social housing.

If I have another child, our house won't grow. If dh or I develop a medical condition that means we can't share a bed, our house won't grow. If dh dh or I develop a medical condition that means we need ocassional overnight carers, our house won't grow. We would have to make do, and that's fine. But if we could make do, then so could renters who aren't also going to be in a position where they also have to find money to maintain their home.

Of course poor people buy stuff, and therfore pay VAT, but social housing tennants don't have to buy stuff like a new boiler like the one I'm saving up for. They don't have to pay buildings insurance that owners have to pay. They don't have to find money to fix their roof when they find it's leaking.

My children are not privately educated, and I couldn't afford for them to be.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 23:19:46

When your children move out your house won't shrink either.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 23:23:11

They don't own a house thats worth money at the end of 25 years either.

cantspel Thu 16-Aug-12 23:31:09

Socknickingpixie i know just how much disablility benefits are as i care for a disabled mother and son. Dla is to pay for the extras and then there is also esa if they are unable to work so plenty o=to find the extra £25 per week for the additional room.

If you cant get permission to put in a stud wall then put in a free standing divider as you wouldn't need permission for that. As to how many could you fit in a small room well as many as you needed to the same way someone who owns would have to. Use bunks, triple bunks, junior sized beds or whatever it took. And maybe with time and peoples expectations of what the state will pay for people will begin to think about these things before they get pregnant.

Like it or not we do now have a culture of the state will provide so i am going to do as i dam well please. You see it every week on here with someone wanting more children but cant really afford them being told its ok have them, they can share, dont costs alot extra, you will get extra ctc ect.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 23:34:49

They give you the keys to a new house every time you have a child when you live in social housing.

Everyone knows that <rolls eyes>

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 23:36:42

I know people who live in 2 bedroomed council houses that do have 3 children in one bedroom so stop banging on that they get a bigger house every time they have another child.

Stop believing all you fucking read.

cantspel Thu 16-Aug-12 23:38:32

Of course they dont but there are plenty of people having babies they cannot afford and some of them do live in social housing.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 23:41:12

Yes and plenty of people who own their own houses get CTC and WTC so whats your point?

Tortington Thu 16-Aug-12 23:43:16

there is no value in comparing home owners and social housing tenants - becuase that is not a fair comparison.

the 'oh poor me' bollocks with the stamp duty fees and the solicitors fees - cry me a fucking river - you have equity - your children get a share of that when you die. giving them the capital to get on the housing ladder.

there are sensible decisions that have to be made, but this argument is futile - pointing at poor people and saying @ how dare they@ its bullshit.

build more houses, put in place laws which prevent land banking, give social housing providers grant money to build - instead of taking it away.

this is what it boils down to - the govt are saving millions in saving grants for social housing providers, at the same time they will raise the HB bill astoundingly



that will become the LA problem - different set of accounts and then suddenly the govt accounts look amazzzzzzzzzing.

whilst future generations look at a huge housng benefit bill and wonder what the fuck to do with it

its robbing peter to pay peters best mate from eton - make the books look good -to try and create confidence in the british economy in the short term

short term short sighteness is what it is.

if any govt ( the one before was as useless) wanted enough homes in this country for the amount of people that need them - they would make it happen.

as it is - it suits this govt very well indeed to point at 'the undeserving' and tell us CONSTANTLY how undeserving they actually are.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 23:46:10

Loves custardo a little bit for that post.

QueenofPlaids Thu 16-Aug-12 23:46:21

Okay there are some aspects that are problematic (17 year olds in education still need space, for example), but surely most people can see that the basic principle is fair? A spare room is not something one is entitled to. Most of my peers who bought do not have one, especially those with children.

I do think little old ladies in large houses should downsize. I recognise that owners who downsize have capital, but I also recognise that many are downsizing because they have shitty pensions and can't afford the running costs of a larger property.

Emotive arguments about little old ladies & "it's their home" doesn't take away from the fact that people - some of whom are struggling themselves - are paying taxes to fund a "nice to have" in some cases. I would however say that this legislation needs more work to ensure it is applied fairly and that appropriate safeguards for the vulnerable are in place.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 23:47:58

They will have a spare room when their children leave home though.

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 23:48:44

Social housing tenants do not have spare rooms if they have children.

Tortington Thu 16-Aug-12 23:56:14

little old ladies get to stay in the medium term - as its stepped up - they are more likley to vote after all

oh and the single person council tax must stay too .

politicians can't be seen to fuck old ladies over

usualsuspect Thu 16-Aug-12 23:59:50

It's all about the spin, as ever.

Latara Fri 17-Aug-12 00:01:35

Novack - form filling is a nightmare actually, i applied for & now receive low rate DLA; the form was not just a form but a booklet; i was very unwell when i received the booklet & it took me weeks to finish it because i was so overwhelmed by the task (got mental health & neurological problems).

I can see why people are anxious; when you are struggling to pay bills then it doesn't matter if it's rented or mortgaged accommodation - it's scary to know how easily you could lose your home.
Moving home is stressful & expensive for both buyers & renters.

I pay mortgage for a 2-bed house that i bought when i was in better health & was able to work full time. I'm single & currently childless; i'm not sure if i'm eligible for HB.
'Selling the house' is not an option as i have no spare cash at all for solicitors fees; estate agents' fees, surveys etc. etc. If i could sell the house then living in a tiny home, for example a 1-bed flat would involve paying ground rent & maintenance too anyway.

I think it must be very difficult for people with children - my dad remembers sharing a bed with all this brothers but that was in the 1950s - things should have got better by now!!

QueenofPlaids Fri 17-Aug-12 00:05:01

Will they usual?

I'll tell the couple I know who sleep in their living room so that their 2 teenage daughters can share the one room of their flat that.

Oh and my other friends with two opposite gender DC in a two bed flat can also look forward to a spare room in ooh, 20 yrs time (providing they don't need to house youngest DS until he is 25). That'll give them great comfort when they're trying to run their home business from same flat in the interim.

Or the couple I know who are having to downsize to a 2 bed with DC 3 on the way due to redundancy.

I could go on, but these are just emotive examples, like the little old ladies. There are difficult circumstances within social housing, private renting & those who've just scraped into home ownership. They don't make good law. I'd reiterate, the basic principle of not getting more than you need is fair.

Plus, the people who end up with the spare room? They have paid for it. Unless you hold the view that all property is theft, there is surely a difference between having something you don't need but which you've paid for vs expecting some other bugger to fund it ongoing.

usualsuspect Fri 17-Aug-12 00:06:48

Another one who thinks that no one in social housing shares bedrooms.

QueenofPlaids Fri 17-Aug-12 00:15:17

Was that comment aimed at me usual because I don't know where I said people in social housing don't share bedrooms. I know full well that they do. hmm

I know plenty of people who are or have been in social housing or otherwise in receipt of housing benefit, including many of my own family.

It doesn't follow from that that owner occupiers all have loads pf space or that people should get extra money to fund space they don't need.

whatthewhatthebleep Fri 17-Aug-12 00:15:56

I have a friend who lives in a 2 bed house...she became disabled 3.5yrs ago and her husband left her about 8mths ago...he was her carer up until then....

Now as she is on her own and needs help to shower, etc she needs her bathroom adapted to be a 'wet room' as she has balance issue's which have caused falls and accidents and she has lots of problems with stepping in and out of the shower unit she has....

Our local council has been dragging their heels to get this wet room done for her because they want her to downsize to a 1 bed bungalow which is already adapted with wet room.....

She has been hounded, harrassed and cajoled by housing officer and she still needs her wet room done....

She needs her 2nd bedroom so her son can stay with her on her bad days, etc and after her treatments every 6 weeks....when she is bedridden for 2/3 days

The council have now stopped trying to make her move but will be charging her for the extra room for carer's

It's an outrage and still after 8mths she is waiting for this wet room....

usualsuspect Fri 17-Aug-12 00:16:09

Because no one in social housing ever paid tax either did they.

Only home owners pay tax according to MN.

usualsuspect Fri 17-Aug-12 00:19:10

Only homeowners can have their family stay over to help out.Fuck the social housing tenants let them rot.

<hides thread>

QueenofPlaids Fri 17-Aug-12 00:24:43

usual I don't know if you're responding to me or someone else, but I've not seen many posts on this thread making any claim that today's benefit claimants have not paid into the pot.

I pay quite a lot of tax. If I break my leg, I expect A&E to treat it. I don't expect them to treat it, wrap it up in a bow & ask me if I'd like anything else whilst I'm there.

Latara Fri 17-Aug-12 00:30:14

I think a high tax on empty second homes (ie. especially those used as 'holiday homes' by the owners & not rented out to others) is needed...

There are so many villages on the South coast of England which are full of empty houses that are 'second homes' owned by eg. Londoners.
Also in my large town there are entire blocks of flats by the sea which are empty for much of the year.

Many locals on lower wages have been priced out of renting OR buying in the area where they've grown up.
There is minimal spare 'social housing' in this area.
A lot of houses on council estates were sold to their tenants under the 'right to buy' scheme - yet these estates have problems with gangs & notorious criminal families, so the ex-tenants of houses in the middle of these estates have no hope of ever selling their properties because no-one with local knowledge wants to own or even privately rent a house there.

One answer would be to offer financial incentives to 2nd home owners to let their 2nd homes out to local housing associations or to rent them out privately at a rent set by the local authority.
But that would affect the govt's core voters (the older middle classes eg.) so won't happen.

sashh Fri 17-Aug-12 06:57:47

If you have more bedrooms than you need and you are claiming hb you should downsize.

I am in a two bedroomed bungalow. It is designed to be accessable. The housing association only has two bed properties available for those of us who have disabilites that mean we need accessible accomodation.

The council only adapts when you are already living in a place.

When my health deteriorates I will need my carer to live in. Do you suggest I move to a one bed council flat that is not suitable, have the council retrofit it to adapt it, then when my health gets worse move back?

Another group it affects are foster parents. It has to be cheaper to pay housing benefit for a spare room that is available when a child needs it than to put that child in care.

Hasn't this always been the case?
Not with council / HA properties. If you are on income support and in a council / ha place you used to get your full rent. It meant that a family with one child could be allocated a three bedroom house without penalty if they were claiming HB.

achillea Fri 17-Aug-12 07:24:30

Disabled people that need a carer will be able to have an extra bedroom for free.

achillea Fri 17-Aug-12 07:39:18

Latara I agree with you about second homes and sink estates.

Charging people with empty homes might add something to the coffers, but not enough to make up for the housing stock that is lost through under-occuptation. In my opinion there should be no such thing as low cost housing for all. If you are poor you should have your rent paid for, of course, but why subsidise housing for the wealthy? It creates a false economy where people end up accepting lower wages because they can afford to because their property is cheap. The taxpayer loses out and the minimum wage employers take home the profit.

BeeBee12 Fri 17-Aug-12 08:13:43

I live in a similar place to latara however the council estates are aspirational areas as they are so expensive.Instead everyone hets hb on sea view flats, new builds, very decent sized houses.All the second homes are hb homes for people on benefits either not working or often working very minimal hours.

achillea Fri 17-Aug-12 08:28:08

So beebee you're saying that in some areas the council stock has been sold and is now owned privately and is desirable but the buy to let landlords are housing all the people on low incomes? That was the purpose of the right to buy scheme all those years ago, a way to encourage people to look after their areas (and change their voting tendencies). You are almost saying that it has worked then - much as I hate to say it.

BeeBee12 Fri 17-Aug-12 08:36:31

Oh yeah achillea I would love a council house they are often really big here with a garden etc but they either have people in them from years back or are bought.My friends parents bought theirs for 16k and its worth 150k now.No way we could afford that we have 2 kids in a 2 bed flat no garden or parking and Im lucky compared to my friends my good friends lives in a 1 bed flat with her fiance and kid as they are also owners.

Most of my friends on full benefits or single mums doing 16 hours live in lovely places such as sea view apartments, private rentals in houses off professionals, a new build place that is only 5 years old in 3 bed townhouses.

Its the system though and I dont begrudge them it, I just wish I had thought when we bought flat about having kids and we could of done the same.

It has definitely worked in no segragation but there isnt much incentive to work more hours or often work at all.

BeeBee12 Fri 17-Aug-12 08:46:31

I will also say it depends where you live I have family up nortg on benefits and the houses they put you in are terrible all metal boarded up and lots of crime.Here on benefits and very low income its a good life.Thats why so many people here are from the north.It all depends on where you are.

Here I would kill to live in a council house my familys estates up north I wouldnt even go out after dark.

achillea Fri 17-Aug-12 09:09:18

Bee I think people like you that have bought in an over-priced housing market are indeed suffering the most. The only way round it is to sell up or move to a different area for more space.

So people are moving from the sink estates up North out to where you are just to get a council place? Where do you live? It's sad to think that the sink estates were once desirable places to live. I wonder if that will soon happen to other places that are now desirable. If there are no jobs in an area, it tends to go downhill regardless of the housing arrangement.

Cheekychops84 Fri 17-Aug-12 09:09:29

This is I think purely s benefit cap if u can survive with the less HB u can stay where u are so not really going to free up houses is it?

achillea Fri 17-Aug-12 09:17:51

in the long term it will free up the large homes that empty-nesters have. This is what they should be focussing on, not the growing families.

Socknickingpixie Fri 17-Aug-12 10:11:50

achilliea if your idea that people with disabilities or children with disabilities who need a carer will not be subjected to the rule, whats the descretionary housing fund for? why is the application process so different?

you have still not commented on why if its only really going to impact on oaps in large houses they dont need why are oaps exempt not only from the extra bedrooms bit.but also by a compleatly different way of assesing income?

achillea Fri 17-Aug-12 10:18:36

Point one - I don't know what the discretionary housing fund is. But I do know that people who need a carer to live with them will get the extra room free.

Point two - it will impact on those who have empty nests and are, say in their 40s won't be able to keep half empty homes until they die - that's another 40 years of two extra bedrooms. They can't touch current pensioners as it would be too disruptive for them and would be morally wrong. I don't know why pensioners' income i assessed differently, that's another discussion.

NovackNGood Fri 17-Aug-12 10:22:18

It's not an outrage on the councils side. It's bloody mindedness and pigheadedness that someone who is offered a wet room adapted property that they need is willing to cut off her nose to spite her face and thinks that the rest of society should pay for a property to be adapted at taxpayers expense when there is one already available and being offered.

If it takes someone months wit to fill in a form that is a few pages long what else are they doing with their time.

Cheekychops84 Fri 17-Aug-12 10:23:51

It deff needs revising! Disabled are effected as are foster cares which is wrong oap's are not but in fairness occupy bigger houses I know of 10 cases 2 of which occupy 5 beds alone and can
No longer maintain the place. Most are living downstairs in one room. But it would b unfair to force them to move but they are the majority taking up larger properties. As are the ones who's children have recently flown the nest so to speak this should not include families with young children they may increase their family size ? I would like another child we have 3 I do work as does my partner I dont claim any benefit not even tax credit well we get CB but what do I do if we are told to downsize ? Have another child then back on the list for 5-8 years? Hmmmm fair not!

BeeBee12 Fri 17-Aug-12 10:26:05

I didnt buy in 2006 I bought in 2003 so I will hopefully be able to move in my mid thirties,so its not too bad.Its just if your on benefits you get it straight away.I will never move area I will just make do if I can never move.

I live on south west coast in a popular tourist place.Not many jobs here above minimum wage and a lot of people think why bother doing more work when you can get the same income for free and a really nice place to live.Its the system not the peoples fault.

achillea Fri 17-Aug-12 10:30:14

Nobody's forced to move, disabled people do get a free room for a carer.


NovackNGood Fri 17-Aug-12 10:32:22

If yo can afford to have a child surely it is up to you to take responsibility to proved housing for that child and not the rest of us. Take personal responsibility. It's not too much to ask is it!!

Cheekychops84 Fri 17-Aug-12 10:33:24

So y is it called bedroom tax then? Cause it's not really a tax is it ? And y are people saying that this is the start if the end of tenancies for life ?

Cheekychops84 Fri 17-Aug-12 10:34:40

How r u paying for it tho? I dnt claim jack off no one oh wait or do u want my CB off me

There are boarded up three bed HA houses allaround me (Liverpool), that people do not want, most are now under occupied and the estate has got better, as it has broken up the big 'deprived' families.

The only two bed houses are mainly private and the rent is higher, so in some areas there won't be any money saved, infact it will cost more as the family will still get full HB, but pay more for a smaller house.

Most GP's are childminding for family, which will now have to stop.

The ability to have in a sick relative stay, or stay with a them will disappear, in parts of the country, this will cost more than the present system.

We should not have national housing stategies (which i also state on housing threads), as needs and availability/cost varies so much from region to region.

Unstable, unsuitable has such a negative effect on family life that no one will come out the winner in this, car cost will over shadow any saving.

What is this doing to raise the standard of living in the UK? We are once again going backwards.

If this came after a periodd of housing investment, with two bed properties and bungalows being built, then fair enough,but in my region, a three bed is the norm.

Criteria is also changing that stops many disabled people from being easily identified as having additional needs, so many will fall through the net and lose out.

The good news on that is that Doctors and HCP's are getting involved in tackling the government on this. I was speaking to a Consultant in LD's and Delayed Development who is playing a big part in a present campaign.

Cheekychops84 Fri 17-Aug-12 10:39:02

I will b responsible for housing it but not simple is it ! If u have bought u can sell up and move I know that's not easy either but it's hard wait g for years and years aswell to b offered somewhere decorate it all then give that up an do it all again. When my children have grown I'd happily downsize I don't want to be knocking around in a family home I'd like a little flat somewhere that's easy to maintain.

If yo can afford to have a child surely it is up to you to take responsibility to proved housing for that child and not the rest of us

You may not realise but housing was once part of the welfare state until the Thatcher years, which ate into housing stock and promoted the renting of houses as a business.

Housing is fundamental to everything else and we need regional long term housing policies that dont punish people, but improve the quality of lif and outcomesfor children.

Providing policies that work in the favour of society (the people) and not business is the government responsibilty.

Cheekychops84 Fri 17-Aug-12 10:44:22

Hey birds it's not really going to help then in Liverpool I'd like to see what they suggest if it will cost more to house them in a smaller house then a larger one ? They will find it hard to have different rules for different areas. There is different demand everywhere downhere we have loads of 1 and 2 bed properties but not enough 3/4 so everyone is on exchange websites wanting to swap 2's to 3's intact I would say all swaps are like that no one looking to downsize unless it has a garden is a bungalow or a groundflooor there aren't many on those in tower blocks!

BeeBee12 Fri 17-Aug-12 10:44:54

Cheekychops your the same age as me and there is no way we could just move.Its crap for our age group.

What I find hardest is not the small space but the stigma attached to it.In the old days you could have a few to a room and nowhere cared now if you do it people think its scummy.Its the attitude I hate especially the kind of remarks I have had are from people on full benefits living in much bigger houses hmm

Once again we are dismissing the value of having stable communities.

Cheekychops84 Fri 17-Aug-12 10:51:17

Yes I agree I work really hard always have as does my partner as did my mum and dad. My mum and dad did do the thatcher thing and bought their council flat and then sold it and bought a house. The council bought the flat back tho ! We have all always worked yes I've needed HB in the past for about a year but needed to get back to work not easy for ppl now I know as jobs are fewer and fewer. I agree with the stigma tho I have ppl look at me as if I am scum and and stupid for running to the school to get the kids in like a headless chicken y they are strolling along as they are in no rush to get to work I'm sure they laugh at me. I enjoy my job I just wish I was better paid for doing it then maybe jus maybe we could be out of this situation. I have about of problems with feeling secure as soon as the government announce another thing about social housing I panic I can't sleep I can't think its so unfair I start thinking maybe I will his say in depressed and sit at home and do nothing sad

achillea Fri 17-Aug-12 11:01:11

birdsgottafly your point is very very important and that is the one thing that concerns me about this whole idea, but it is the individual councils' decision whether to pass this tax on to social housing tenants and they will know themselves whether it will be cost effective for them in the long run. I think they will really only bother with those empty-nesters in areas like London where there are not enough family homes.

achillea Fri 17-Aug-12 11:02:57

Interesting that in London they are now making it possible for people to apply for housing across boroughs in order to move closer to relatives. This is probably designed to stop that gap as in London they know what these costs are.

The unemployed are a small % of HB claimants, the main are pensioners (who this will over look), then the working poor and then other benefit claiments (disabled etc).

What this does is put restrictions on anyone who hasn't got a large enough income to buy a house and keep it, which is usually because of the wage structure in the UK and the lack of permanent work.

achillea Fri 17-Aug-12 11:13:51

As I said before Birds, we have to pick our battles, and the real battle is low wages and lack of job security which have created an unequal Britain. These are the real causes of all of this but the government is too wrapped up in their love affair with bankers and big business to realise this.

Someone mentioned before that people work reduced hours so they don't lose their benefit - it's very hard to get unemployment benefit these days and not worth the endless hassle of the Spanish Inquisition when you sign on. Far easier to do a few hours work and feel comfortable - not that I am judging that as a bad thing, I would probably do the same if the only option were a cr*p wage in a cr*p job.

This is actually a tax on empty homes that the social housing landlords are choosing to pass on to the tenants as they can't afford to cover it out of their existing budget.

What my concern is that HA's may change their rules across the board.

My estate has improved because of tough policies on crime and anti social behaviour, but more and more houses are standing empty, so my fear is that the rules will go back to what they once were and allow families to stay, as long as the offender leaves, which never worked.

achillea Fri 17-Aug-12 11:37:40

I'm pretty sure any council will try and 'get rid' of their problem families as they cost so much, but others won't want to take them on either. My guess is that things are getting so tough now that even those families will take on the cr*p jobsas a way to get benefit (not fair, but effective).

Camden now has a policy of 'trial periods' where they will not give a permanent tenancy until they can prove they don't keep out of trouble. I wonder why they thought that one up? All these families will then end up in private accommodation, moving about and going off the radar.

Socknickingpixie Fri 17-Aug-12 11:38:50

achillea it would be ideal if it only impacted on the people who you think it will.

re disabled parents/children/both you are basing your knowledge on a none gov website and repeatedly posting the link that says very clearly "the gov has said" not this will actually happen.

i am basing mine on the actual guidence that has been sent to LA's.that states the dhp should be claimed by these people to bump up where the reforms mean they lose out. this fund if denyed has no right of apeal or tribunal.and when its gone its gone no matter how valid your claim is you cant have it if others got there befor you.it also cannot be paid if you apply because other benefits have been reduced so this can result in a blanket refuseal for those very circumstances even tho the budget for this fund being increased is because of that.

Socknickingpixie Fri 17-Aug-12 11:46:40

also all LA's have the same thing with tenancies and have done for years when you first get given a council house the first year that you live in it is covered by a introductory tenancy agreement,they make it easyer for you to be evicted if you are a problem.

achillea Fri 17-Aug-12 11:48:54

Guidelines are guidelines, not rules - it depends on the individual council whether they will charge this in the first place. You are bringing a lot of red herrings into the debate - if the council decides to pass this on to the disabled person then they will get the money from the dhf or their DLA or carer's allowance. My guess is they will know it won't be worth pushing for.

mignonette Fri 17-Aug-12 11:55:52

How is a bedroom defined? i live in a three story Victorian house (owned outright) but if it was a private rental, would my converted cellar be classed as a bedroom seeing as many cellars could be used as one? And if an upstairs room tends to be classed as a bedroom, then how would that affect a home that is all on one level or with an upstairs living space? What if 'spare' rooms are clearly used and decorated as something else i.e another bathroom, study/workroom, dining etc?

Time to get re-decorating/ re furnishing, all those of you with 'spare' rooms on HB! Don't describe a room as a bedroom unless it is used as one.

Cheekychops84 Fri 17-Aug-12 12:10:11

Im guessing what's on ur council tax bill? I guess SH tenants don't need a study as we wouldn't b entitled to one ? Some dinning rooms u are expected to use as a bedroom aswell

Many disabled people that need extra support are not identified as such in the eyes of the DWP or LA, though, because of a change in criteria.

Many vulnerable people are falling through the net, support and benefit wise, now housing has been added to their list of problems.

Many disabled people, through changes in policies do not qualify for disablity benefits, or help, so family and friends are making up the shortfall in care.

usualsuspect Fri 17-Aug-12 12:14:13

Lots of 'spare bedrooms' in council properties are actually box rooms, hardly big enough to fit a bed in.

Not great big massive bedrooms as some seem to think.

mignonette Fri 17-Aug-12 12:28:00

Cheeky...... plenty of SH residents study and have children who study. They pay bills and need room/ storage to do these things..........I hope you were being ironic..................

Cheekychops84 Fri 17-Aug-12 13:02:59

Yes migonette I was being sarcastic :D I myself am in SH I am doing a diploma : D would love a study at least I could do it in peace!

Cheekychops84 Fri 17-Aug-12 13:04:44

I have 3 girls in a squashy 2bed we deff need storage but y? I guess SH are not entitled to 'things' so y give us storage space? No jus make all the kids squish together in one room they dnt need clothes or toys do they?

mignonette Fri 17-Aug-12 13:07:12

Thought so cheeky smile.

Cheekychops84 Fri 17-Aug-12 13:10:20

I think one spare room is viable Anything more is too much .

mignonette Fri 17-Aug-12 13:13:59

It's always worth a try.

Cheekychops84 Fri 17-Aug-12 13:15:31

Lol not in the governments eyes u can't really hide a bedroom can u ? Lol mind u a teeny tiny room could b used as a cupboard : D

Cheekychops84 Fri 17-Aug-12 13:16:47

Lol I no someone who had such a tiny bedroom a normal size bed wouldn't fit so his dad had to make him a bed so if a single bed doesn't fit in what they class as a bedroom what does that mean grin

mignonette Fri 17-Aug-12 13:24:40

They don't do housing checks on every application. If it's not being used as a bedroom and is furnished as a different room, then how would they go about defining what is a bedroom? I'm interested to know if anybody can tell me what the criteria is.

usualsuspect Fri 17-Aug-12 13:25:51

I suppose if its classed as a 3 bedroomed house, they won't care what the rooms are being used for.

Socknickingpixie Fri 17-Aug-12 13:25:58


hb claiments who recive carers allowence get just over £50 a week, £32 a week of that is protected the remainder is allready expected to be used towards rent and is used in the calculation. so you want more of that to be used?
dla is also protected as it is intended to be used towards paying for care in addition to a none paid person who may also be reciving ca. paying towards aids/support that you require and other such expenses it is not intended to be used towards day to day normal living expenses that a none disabled person normally has. thats why its protected.
the dhp fund is not guranteed its compleatly dependant on many factors the most important being

these are not red herrings. the part of the reform that will not impact on people in receipt of disability benefits is the cap but i belive people getting ca if none resident will have there own money cut.

the rule on under occupying (the extra bedroom) are RULES they are not guidelines it is not up to the la choose to do this or not, by april next year they have to. some have started the process allready.

lots of people who have disabilities due to the new regulations may not qualify for the other benefits they slip through the net because the new rules allow them to. but they will still have the need.

I've just checked our local caps:

£250 per week (or £1083.33 per month) for a one bedroom property

£290 per week (or £1256.67 per month) for a two bedroom property

£340 per week (or £1473.33 per month) for a three bedroom property

£400 per week (or £1733.33 per month) for a four bedroom property or larger

That looks extremely reasonable to me.

Socknickingpixie Fri 17-Aug-12 13:32:33

thats the lha not the cap the cap is the total benefit cap that prohibits any unemployed person or minimumly employed person with kids from reciveing more than £500 a week in benefits irrespective of how many kids they have and how much the gov says they need to live on.hb is going to be basicly policeing this and using hb as a way of making it happen.

starmaker7 Fri 17-Aug-12 13:33:47

The age thing confuses me ,if you have 2 sons 13 and 15 they 'have' to share so for a few months until the eldest is 16 you would have to pay the extra 'tax' or move to a 2 bed house and then move again to a 3 bed when hes 16 :-/ maybe they should be looking at tenants no children first ??
Also I am classed as needing 5 bedrooms under the LHA rules(due to ages/sex/number of dc's) but I'm guessing the local council wont be building me one any time soon !!

usualsuspect Fri 17-Aug-12 13:48:45

I wondered that,do you pay the tax until the oldest one needs his own room?

usualsuspect Fri 17-Aug-12 13:49:26

They are the councils rules BTW before anyone says they slept 15 in a bed while they were growing up.

Socknickingpixie Fri 17-Aug-12 13:52:02

not sure how it impacts 16yo yet but its possibly that cb will effect the stance they take.

what age and gender are all your kids?

Cheekychops84 Fri 17-Aug-12 13:54:02

That's what I want to know? No point downsizing when eventually u will need to upside again

usualsuspect Fri 17-Aug-12 13:54:15

None of this affects me, I'm just wondering really.

Socknickingpixie Fri 17-Aug-12 13:54:24

dont forget a 16yo who leaves education is classed as a none dependant adult so whilt this rule may give them a room you get the none dependant deduction they cannot claim hb towards the room in your house.

Socknickingpixie Fri 17-Aug-12 13:56:06

usual sorry i ment the poster who needs a 5 bed

Cheekychops84 Fri 17-Aug-12 14:00:39

This doesn't effect me at the moment but we are trying to exchange with a single lady who is in a 4 bed which means having 3 girls we have an extra room. But we pay rent ourselves at the moment so won't affect us yet but no doubt will soon.

Socknickingpixie Fri 17-Aug-12 14:11:11

if you do claim hb then as all your kids are girls they are expected to share so the extra room deduction should effect a claim.

I don't have a 'spare room - each of my children has their own room.

Which is a medical necessity backed by medical professionals and SS.

Yet I will be penalised for that. As it's not a 'spare' room for a carer.

The boys are expected to share, you see. Which they would if they didn't have disabilities.

expatinscotland Fri 17-Aug-12 14:29:41

Wow, Butisthis, do you live in London?

The cap is £461/month for a two-bed in Glasgow.

starmaker7 Fri 17-Aug-12 14:40:12

socknickingpixie I have 2 boys 18 and 14 and 3 girls 9 ,6 and 3 ,I put them into the bedroom calculator on our councils website and it said I needed 5
this is from http://www.entitledtofortenants.co.uk/calculator.aspx
Here are your results.
You are entitled to five bedrooms

we are currently in a 3 bed house previously we had a 4 bed and dont claim HB

Cheekychops84 Fri 17-Aug-12 17:07:29

Hey sock do 3 girls share one room or jus 2? Also we dnt claim HB?

peasorbeans Fri 17-Aug-12 17:34:16

Oh dear, I thought this was a 'Shades of Grey' thread. Bye.

MAYBELATERNOWIMBUSY Fri 17-Aug-12 18:31:59

THE gOVT has screwed this country, they are scrabbling around for ANY way to get their paws on more dosh ,YOU are going to have to come up with the bucks! o.k.a. "less bang 4 your buck" but, we ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER ! remind me , how many rooms in that London des res "MA"AM" CURRENTLY STAYS IN, are perhaps not currently occupied ? nope , i dont know either.think she should "downsize ?"

Socknickingpixie Fri 17-Aug-12 18:36:14

it is not relivent to you if you dont claim any hb these rules only effect hb claiments. if you where to claim hb all 3 would be expected to share.

now earlyer on you said you had been told your were entitled to a 5 bed house this is irrespective of hb or not but if it is just you and your dp with 2 boys that age and 3 girls all under 10 under the current rules you are only entitled to a 3 bedroom providing the floor space is a certain amount. children under one are not counted at all, children over 1 but under 10 only count as half a person,but if the la due to floor space and statutory over crowding said you had to have a 5 bed so you got one and then later on your circumstances changed and you had to claim hb you would get the hb extra room penalty.

however i am expecting to see some further guidence notes (sneekely passed to me at some stage) providing more info on how many in each room of what size ect as im pretty certain that in the dark recess of my fairly addled brain i recall some section of housing law that specifys an issue with cramming 174 children in a room smaller than a single bed grin.sadly this info is not included in the current guidence.

Cheekychops84 Fri 17-Aug-12 19:41:52

Its silly unless u are a couple or alone or have 1 kiddy in a 3 bed it shudnt apply

Cheekychops84 Fri 17-Aug-12 19:42:43

Isn't it against health and safety to have 3 kids in one squishy room? I thought it was a max of 2 sharing ?

starmaker7 Fri 17-Aug-12 20:42:27

socking,its what it says on the welfare reform page and I was on full HB when I did it

Cheeky yes that is what they are saying on the entitled to page re sharing

the welfare reform page /entitledto page and statutory overcrowding rules seem to say different things

There is a rule in place regarding size of room allowed to be used as a bedroom ,the room my sons share is very close to it .The council have said I am overcrowded and have placed me in a high band for CBL ,I can only bid on 3 bedroomed houses IF they have a seperate dining room ,4 bedroomed houses or, if one of the 2 should come up ,a 5 bedder . I have just come off HB although I can still claim it when the TC's get sorted :0)

Socknickingpixie Fri 17-Aug-12 21:15:50

the housing benefit rules have changed star they come into force everywhere in england in april 2013.

and thats one of my issues with it the two rules contradict each other. the overcrowding rules arnt just to do with bedrooms its also worked out with overall floor space excluding any room under a certain size i think its 6ft by something or other basicly small also any room with a loo in it.so if you live in social housing but pay all rent yourself you are protected by the overcrowding rules but if you get any hb you arnt if some of your square footage happens to describe itself as a bedroom.

another problem i have with it is exactly what youve pointed out the housing dept wont expect you to have that many sharing but hb can still deduct the 14%.
its going to be even worse for large families who end up not working when the benefit cap comes into force as well.

achillea Fri 17-Aug-12 22:24:26

Is that right sock, that people on HB aren't protected by overcrowding rules even in council homes?

Camden use the term 'bedspaces' in their blurb. I'm glad I'm not a benefits or housing adviser really. No wonder we never get the right information out of them.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Fri 17-Aug-12 23:35:47

I live in a mostly-rural area, in a hugely deprived part of the country. My dgs' mum (it's only her and 3 yo dgs) was given a 3 bed council/HA flat. Her sister, a lone woman, was given a 2 bed, after a spell in homeless. Are they going to be penalised because smaller properties were/are not available? DGS' mum is only 23, her sister 21.

achillea Sat 18-Aug-12 00:12:50

OldLady, it depends on the council how they pass on this cost. The more I learn about it the less I seem to understand. It's another one of those bright new Tory ideas that really hasn't been thought through. The government has made a ruling on empty properties, good idea etc, but now the councils will either have to pay for empty rooms out of their budget or pass it on to the homeowner. I think you need to look at your own council's website to find out what their plans are.

People will be able to let out rooms in their council homes but the first £20 will go to the council or be deducted.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 18-Aug-12 00:18:36

It's going to be a sodding nightmare, isn't it? sooooooo not thought-through

achillea Sat 18-Aug-12 00:27:05

It's like something out of an episode of Twenty Twelve. It seems to be the latest Tory pattern. Think of a brilliant money-saving idea and then as you start to realise it's not going to work, devolve responsibility to the councils for them to sort it out. They're doing that with the Green Deal now as well. But if there's something the LA's are doing perfectly adequately (like schools and social care), bring it under central government control so that they can privatise it and sell it to their mates that know nothing about education or social care but can see business potential in it.

Sorry to rant, but really.

Socknickingpixie Sat 18-Aug-12 21:14:52

achillea sadly thats correct even if having a bedroom less means you are legally overcrowded if your children are expected to share under the hb rule (same sex under 16 different sex under 10) then you will still get the hb deduction.

given that also when they bring in the cap you could have your hb allready decreased (as thats where the claw back is expected to happen) to make sure you dont recive over the cap the extra room tax will then be deducted after the cap is done so you will get an additional 14% taken away on top of what they allready take because of the cap.

its going to really hit people and even hb staff are a bit shock and confused by it i dont think many of them knew how many hits would be taken and how brutal it was actually going to be by hitting the very people they said it would protect iyswim.

achillea Sat 18-Aug-12 21:39:56

People like to sneer at benefit abusers but this rule is going to effectively tar straightforward empty-nesters with that same brush, they are 'getting something for nothing' too.

Bear in mind I do agree with this tax in principle (mainly to get empty-nesters to move on before they retire - that's fair) but following the Tories recent outbursts about Lazy Britain I can now see that it's far more than an effort at saving public spending, it's fuelled by the extreme right in the Tory party who are now beginning to show their true colours.

Socknickingpixie Sat 18-Aug-12 22:03:39

we do indeed agree about that. i do think people in social housing with to big houses who live alone should be encouraged and supported to hand them back but not if they have kids at home or legit reasons to stay.

i also guess its how you would define a benefit abuser but the gov makes no destinction between an abuser and what any reasonable person would class as a legit claiment they are all targeted by this.

say for example you have a very large family with parents who have allways worked and paid tax but because the family is so large have little or no savings they live in social housing,say one parent got sick but not enough to be concidered as disabled just enough to lose a job,and the other parent got let go due to say the company having problems. nobody would have any problems with them claiming benefits at all because hey they have paid in so no probs, well they would be hit by the cap and the other rules. just the same as they would if they had never worked. its not really right.

achillea Sun 19-Aug-12 23:48:02

When the dreaded Universal Credit comes in the rules will be changed again, it says so on the Housing Federation website. Your taxpaying couple will probably come out better then, but those who have been ill for years perhaps, will suffer even more.

sashh Mon 20-Aug-12 06:54:35

Point one - I don't know what the discretionary housing fund is. But I do know that people who need a carer to live with them will get the extra room free.

If the carer is living there then it isn't a spare room.

ibizagirl Mon 20-Aug-12 07:04:22

interesting thread. This road is housing association and joined on is private. Just counted the number of three bed houses with one person in and it is 5. That is just the ones i know about. I know that the one lady was asked if she wanted to move and she said did she have to and they said no. She is disabled and has had cancer recently and has nurses come in every day. She can't do a thing for herself and the house is a mess. Surely she should be "made" to go into something more suitable thus freeing up a large 3 bed with large garden? She is also in a motorised wheelchair so maybe a bungalow? One lady opposite has been in her house since 1954 when the houses were built but obviously had her husband and son there but she still lives there and she is 81. She said she wont be moving and she doesn't pay any rent so will it make any difference to her and the others?

achillea Mon 20-Aug-12 08:12:05

There is nothing they can do to move someone out who is disabled, disabled people won't be affected by the new rules. It may actually cost the council more in the long run anyway as it might affect her health. The HA could offer her an alternative nice manageable bungalow but if she doesn't want it they couldn't force her to move.

As for the elderly, I think the reason for this ruling is precisely to close that loophole as it were. In the old days a lot of elderly would be glad of a nice bungalow that was manageable but only if it is in their area so large houses have been under-occupied for sometimes 50 years simply because they could stay.

It may be that now the HAs have built lots of 2 bedroom apartments in towns and cities with lifts they might start to move the 'empty nesters' into those, freeing up the big houses for families.

expatinscotland Mon 20-Aug-12 08:22:40

Pensioners are not affected by the rules, ibizagirl.

achillea Mon 20-Aug-12 08:38:37

Thanks expat, you're right but this rule will eliminate any future under-occupation.

It's an odd new tax really because it began as an empty homes tax for people with second homes. This will probably reduce tourism in rural areas and reduce house prices as well which is good because it will enable people to live there, but bad because there won't be any work for them. So they get a nice house, but no work.

It's another one of those 'on yer bike' ideas that the Tories like to come up with from time to time! Sounds great but let's look at the detail please.

expatinscotland Mon 20-Aug-12 08:41:43

It's not a tax, though. It's a reduction in housing benefit. I highly doubt those who own a second home claim housing benefit.

achillea Mon 20-Aug-12 08:53:28

The empty homes tax is a tax to the property owner but the HAs and councils are passing that tax on to their tenants (the only way they can cover the cost).

starmaker7 Mon 20-Aug-12 11:49:52

it doesnt help that our council are calling it a 'tax' (that's exactly how it is on the website) as are most other websites

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Mon 20-Aug-12 11:51:13

That does seem a bit stupid Starmaker. No one likes tax, so it's bizarre that they choose to call it that. Maybe they chose tax because it's preferable to 'cut'.

Carolecags44 Fri 28-Sep-12 16:17:09

What I don't understand is does this bedroom tax apply to private renting a property the housing association house I'm I is far to big I'm going to have two bedrooms to much so will have 25% deducted from my full housing benefit there are no housing association swaps etc in my village so I thought it would be better to private rent I found a place it's really cheap rent at £395mth my housing cap in my area is £365mth so I realise I would have to top that up would I also be penalised because I have one extra bedroom in the private rented its far to confusing :0(

Carolecags44 Fri 28-Sep-12 16:20:36

I forgot to mention I'm also a disabled mum on severe disability allowance and DLA, as if life isn't bloody hard enough the government pile more stress on :0(

ladyfleck Fri 12-Oct-12 00:52:15

it allready is for workers, i am 53 and i work in a care home, i work 30 hours a week, and i get 32pounds a week help with my rent, i get this help because i am told by hb that by law i need a 111pounds a week to live on after rent, but i have two daughters that one has left home and rents in private accomadation my other daughter is at university and may come home after university but we may not be able to take her in. The three bedroom house we have, is now being taxed, i am two bedrooms over my need so i have to find
another 24 pounds a week more, so according to hb i am not getting by law 111 pounds to live on, because i have to pay this 24 pounds from that i also pay all my councle tax my self allready

Alincoman Mon 19-Nov-12 22:28:33

Are you all aware that they are cutting our council tax benefits in April too..They estimate that you will have to pay 20% of that..They will only give you 80% of the benefit .So even when you down size you're still hit by this one too.So they got us all ways now..

Alincoman Mon 19-Nov-12 22:44:31

I'm in the same boat and we could all loose DLA & mobility under the reforms in April too..You will pretty much have to be on you're death bed to get it..When it changes we are not automatically entitled to it..You have to make a fresh claim even if you like me was awarded it for life..

Teabagtights Mon 19-Nov-12 22:46:15

What about me. My son comes home three months a year almost four. Where is he supposed to sleep If I'm in a one bed flat? I work and get minimal housing benefit which I will lose. He still has a room with all his stuff in.

Alincoman Mon 19-Nov-12 23:20:52

Further more I am in a housing association property and have spare rooms..They have no suitable accommodation to down size me to.If I move into a private rented property I will still have to pay towards the rent there, so a no win situation on that one. I may as well stay putt .Not only that,where will I find the money for 1,removal costs 2, deposit on a private rented property, 3 money for new carpeting as my home has laminate flooring..On top of that I'm disabled with a muscle disease and other illnesses linked with that..so won't be easy to move either..

Does this government not realise they will be making rods for their own backs..Those struggling to feed their kids and them selves as it is & because of this in April next year they could and many will turn to crime..Who would blame them if their kids are going hungry.The cost of said crimes in police time and court costs if theyre caught will be many thousands of pounds..They then get fined but cant pay it,they then get re-arrested & returned to court ( more costs). The magistrates then send them to prison for none payment of fines (even higher costs).The prisons will soon fill up and new ones will have to be found/built..Those total cost of these crimes will far out weigh the money this government are saving in housing benefit cuts..And those on here that are saying its right to have to pay it, by this i mean the working persons it's them then that will also be footing these bills for crime and the ones who will most likely be targeted by criminals. Its wrong to turn to any crime, but I can see it coming..Just food for thought this last bit...I don't think they have seriously thought this out, to me it's a no brainer...

madbengal Sun 03-Mar-13 01:41:25

The issues I have with it is that if you have a room for visiting children ie stepchildren you have to pay and if you foster you have to pay as "they are not part of your family" also I feel its discriminating against those on benefits as those with council properties with bedrooms they dont use but don't claim any benefits aren't included

This thankfully doesnt effect me yet but as we are looking to move to be able to foster it will then

kittythames Sun 03-Mar-13 05:36:25

Bump out the spam!

Eastpoint Sun 03-Mar-13 08:07:21


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