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Spare Room Allowance - Bbc Bias At The Outset

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This is a local news story but I'm sure there will be a national one along soon:

18 June 2013 Last updated at 21:32

Benefit changes see council tenants rent arrears rise

More than a third of council tenants in Cornwall affected by an extra charge for spare rooms are already behind on their rent.

Figures obtained by BBC Radio Cornwall revealed rent arrears were on the rise following benefit changes in April.

The government says the under-occupancy charge is designed to free up housing stock and no-one is forced to move.

Cornwall Council said it was not easy to ask people to move to smaller homes because of a limited supply.

Cornwall Housing - the council's arms-length housing company - reported that 370 of its 962 tenants currently affected by the spare-room subsidy had gone into rent arrears since April.

'Lucky ones'

Janet Mandeville, 51, one of the tenants who was going into arrears, said: "The worry of it made me so ill.

"I was in hospital with stress. At the end of the day I would rather be happy and healthier somewhere else."

Mrs Mandeville got help with her debts through a discretionary housing payment from the council, but she said she was "one of the lucky ones".

She is swapping her two-bedroom home on a Truro estate for a one-bedroom flat a quarter of a mile away.

Cornwall Council Cabinet member for finance Councillor Alex Folkes, said: "There simply isn't that huge supply of houses to move into.

"If there isn't the smaller property with the special adaptations, if they need them, in their local community, it's very difficult to ask people to move."

A Department of Work and Pensions spokesperson said: "We are giving councils £150m this year so that they can help their vulnerable residents and we are monitoring this spending closely to ensure support goes to those who need it.

"The spare room subsidy changes will bring fairness back to the system - when in England alone there are nearly two million households on the social housing waiting list and over a quarter of a million tenants are living in overcrowded homes."

What extra charge? There is no extra charge; the rent hasn't changed. They are just receiving the level of free money appropriate to the size of their household rather than enough to house a non-existent bigger family.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-22960321

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It's about time the Landlords were scrutinised here, as if the commonly-held view on this site(myself included) is borne out by reality, many of these properties will be unlettable at the current asking rents. Can anyone find an example of a tenant vacating a property over this issue, only to see the property have the asking rent cut for a relet?

Edit nonsense, it's social tenants only.

Edited by cheeznbreed

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There will be more rent arrears if the rent is paid to the claimants in one lump sum once a month......when there are many to pay who do you pay first?....who won't get paid? ;)

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Guest eight

There will be more rent arrears if the rent is paid to the claimants in one lump sum once a month......when there are many to pay who do you pay first?....who won't get paid? ;)

For historical reasons there is a weird arrangement whereby water rates are bundles in with social rents. So presumably they aren't getting paid either.

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This is a local news story but I'm sure there will be a national one along soon:

What extra charge? There is no extra charge; the rent hasn't changed. They are just receiving the level of free money appropriate to the size of their household rather than enough to house a non-existent bigger family.

That would be great apart from one slight problem - they (usually*) don't have the option of moving to a smaller property, because there is a shortage of property in the first place.

Now, if the government was assessing needs and embarking on an appropriate building program, then it might be reasonable to apply these measures to people who refused to move. Simply applying them to people with no realistic option of moving is a charge, effectively.

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Wasn't there a thread on here recently about one woman who reduced the rent she paid arbitrary by the level of benefit she lost?

Of course the landlord wasn't happy and made all sorts of noises about getting the required orders to evict without realising it will cost a hell of a lot more than the lost rent.

Of course if everyone did this it would force rents down.............

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Oh dear, a 51 year old woman without a spare room. How will she cope? I mean, a young family clearly don't deserve it as they have iPods, clearly hasn't been thought through. Older generations fought in the war you know

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That would be great apart from one slight problem - they (usually*) don't have the option of moving to a smaller property, because there is a shortage of property in the first place.

Now, if the government was assessing needs and embarking on an appropriate building program, then it might be reasonable to apply these measures to people who refused to move. Simply applying them to people with no realistic option of moving is a charge, effectively.

I don't agree that there is "no realistic option of moving". If there isn't a council house of the correct size they could always claim LHA and move into the private sector, where they will be given whatever it costs to rent the 30th percentile property of the appropriate size in their area. The private sector has already responded to the demand for flats in London by splitting houses into flats, and there is no reason why it couldn't do this elsewhere in the UK too.

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That would be great apart from one slight problem - they (usually*) don't have the option of moving to a smaller property, because there is a shortage of property in the first place.

Now, if the government was assessing needs and embarking on an appropriate building program, then it might be reasonable to apply these measures to people who refused to move. Simply applying them to people with no realistic option of moving is a charge, effectively.

Nope, there's a shortage of family homes, not one bedders

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It's about time the Landlords were scrutinised here,

LHA for private tenants has been quietly in place without any protest for a couple of years now.

"bedroom tax" is for council tenants who previously thought they'd live in their 3 bedroom houses on their own for ever.

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as usual, the blame is the source of the money...its dropped.

Better ring Ford and tell them there is a shortage of funds for their cars...if they want to sell, better drop the price.

Housing is actually no different.

But, if a person decides to move to a smaller place, then they could lose the right to a place in that they were voluntarily unhoused.

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Nope, there's a shortage of family homes, not one bedders

What there is a shortage of is obviously going to vary from area to area according to the profile of properties and the local demographic.

I agree that this measure (the taxpayer no longer paying for the benefit-subsistent to rent spare rooms) is appropriate and sensible, if a property without the spare room is available for someone to move in to. Seems to me that the way to solve this is to impose the extra chage if one is offered to the tenant (say, within a ten-mile radius of their existing home) and they refuse it.

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What there is a shortage of is obviously going to vary from area to area according to the profile of properties and the local demographic.

I agree that this measure (the taxpayer no longer paying for the benefit-subsistent to rent spare rooms) is appropriate and sensible, if a property without the spare room is available for someone to move in to. Seems to me that the way to solve this is to impose the extra chage if one is offered to the tenant (say, within a ten-mile radius of their existing home) and they refuse it.

I see where the administration of things becomes difficult...people are assumed to be unable to do things for themselves.

better employ another 10 Public Sector bods for the:

Department of Room Checking and Matchmaking Administration Services, working together in partnership with tenants and landlords.

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Misleading Thread Title Alert

I detect no bias in the BBC article, they're just reporting what they found. There is no judgement made, no argument for change. It may not agree with your own view of the way life is or should be, but that's just tough.

Fact is, whatever the mechanism, be it increased rent or reduced benefit, there is a reasonable chance that at least some people will have been at the limit and now will not have enough dosh to pay the bills. In the utopian world everyone affected so would magically move from their homes into a one-bed place. Unfortunately, our society is more dystopian than utopian, so they are stuck.

I didn't agree with them spending £15M to bury Thatcher, but I didn't reckon the BBC was biased when they spent half a day covering the old witch.

Edited by Stainless Sam

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Wasn't there a thread on here recently about one woman who reduced the rent she paid arbitrary by the level of benefit she lost?

Of course the landlord wasn't happy and made all sorts of noises about getting the required orders to evict without realising it will cost a hell of a lot more than the lost rent.

Of course if everyone did this it would force rents down.............

was it me quoting amazon sellers forum poster ?

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=190712&st=120

Quote

http://sellercentral.amazon.co.uk/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=72254&start=0&tstart=15

Its worse than that really, was talking to a landlord the other day.

A young mum tenant in a house, so reduced housing benefit due to these changes. She insists on paying the landlord only what the housing benefit pay her regardless of the rent the landlord wants.

So the landlord after back and forth is now taking eviction proceedings (which cost a considerable sum). Lost rent due to her actions for the year on one out of three properties they have is being figured as around a third of the landlord's annual profit.

Plus of course there is usually some kind of delay after a tenant moves out before another moves in and decoration/repairs may be needed. So a landlord with 3 properties could end the year with no profit at all!

So government saves a little on the one hand and gets less tax on the other, along with landlord spending less in the economy.

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DROP THE RENTS

Council rents and housing association rents are forced to rise above inflation every year and have been forced to rise in this way for over a decade. This in turn pushes up the average rent which increase LHA for private rents.

This in turn pushes up private rents and in turn minimum house prices. This then pushes up imputed rents and GDP.

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Council rents and housing association rents are forced to rise above inflation every year and have been forced to rise in this way for over a decade. This in turn pushes up the average rent which increase LHA for private rents.

This in turn pushes up private rents and in turn minimum house prices. This then pushes up imputed rents and GDP.

Agreed +1

To such an extent that in some parts of the country (mine) social rents now equal or exceed private rents on singleton properties, though of course we have a secure tenancy, and a landlord that bothers to do repairs, plus right to buy.

The more social tenants pay, the more private tenants will pay, in a viscous feedback loop.

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For historical reasons there is a weird arrangement whereby water rates are bundles in with social rents. So presumably they aren't getting paid either.

I dated a few in the past who thought the £5 a week water rates they paid the council was the rent.They thought water was free and they paid £5 towards the rent.I was talking to one a few weeks ago and she mentioned she was trying to get a 1 bed instead of her 3 bed because of "the bedroom tax",,she didn't consider getting a job an option as she didn't like working .(she worked for 7 months at 17,never since).

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Misleading Thread Title Alert

I detect no bias in the BBC article, they're just reporting what they found. There is no judgement made, no argument for change. It may not agree with your own view of the way life is or should be, but that's just tough.

Fact is, whatever the mechanism, be it increased rent or reduced benefit, there is a reasonable chance that at least some people will have been at the limit and now will not have enough dosh to pay the bills. In the utopian world everyone affected so would magically move from their homes into a one-bed place. Unfortunately, our society is more dystopian than utopian, so they are stuck.

I didn't agree with them spending £15M to bury Thatcher, but I didn't reckon the BBC was biased when they spent half a day covering the old witch.

I highlighted the bias, it said "an extra charge for spare rooms". There is no such thing, this is repeating Labour's "bedroom tax" lie. There is no extra charge.

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  • 243 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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