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Council reclassifies homes and offers refunds to help residents hit by bedroom tax

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Council reclassifies homes and offers refunds to help residents hit by bedroom tax

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Bill Payments, Housing

Council reclassifies homes and offers refunds to help residents hit by bedroom tax Council reclassifies homes and offers refunds to help residents hit by bedroom tax

More than 800 homes in Leeds are being reclassified by the city council to help residents cope with the bedroom tax.

The local authority has sent 837 letters to households making them aware that the number of bedrooms in their properties are to be redesignated.

The council says the welfare changes along with the need to ensure its stock is sustainable has prompted the move. Just under a third of the people in the properties that will be changed are affected by under occupation.

Properties have been selected for re-designation on the basis of their build type, design and layout. For example some of the five bedroom homes with a downstairs bedroom will be reclassified as a four-bed property to create a better layout for those occupying it.

In addition, any tenants that have lost out on their housing benefits through under occupation of these properties will get a refund backdated to 1 April 2013.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council's executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, planning and support services, said: “We have looked at a number of council properties across our portfolio to ensure that they are correctly designated with the right number of bedrooms for the size and layout of the house or flat.

“It seems that some of the properties are not sustainable moving forward and their layout does not support the current bedroom designation.

“The move to look at this change has been part promoted by welfare changes and looking at ways to help all tenants across the city.

“Already we have been out and meet with a large number of our council tenants to explain to them how welfare changes will affect them, and what we can do to try and help them moving forward – be that through setting up a payment plan for paying back rent or any other help and advice they may need.”


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