I Am The Blog

The latest property news from your online estate agent.

New Bedroom Tax Legislation To Come Into Force Next Month

Starting from April this year, council flat or housing association tenants on government benefits with unoccupied bedrooms will be subject to a so-called bedroom tax and face drastic financial cutbacks. As part of the 2012 Welfare Reform Act, the new bedroom tax will reduce benefits by 14% for recipients with one unoccupied bedroom in their home and by 25% for those with two or more unoccupied bedrooms. Giving a total estimated loss of £14-£16 a week or £56 - £64 per month, the bedroom tax will affect more than half a million social tenants. More than 60% of those households to be subjected to bedroom tax include homes with a disabled resident.

With the current economy already exerting a tight squeeze on the wallet, many tenants will not be able to afford the risk of incurring ‘bedroom’ tax and will soon find themselves hunting for alternative accommodation. With the search for 1 and 2 bedroom properties about to skyrocket, renting privately via a cheap online letting agency, may be for many, the only way forward.

Set to impact an estimated 660,000 people around the UK, the most badly affected will include single parents with shared custody, those requiring full time carers in disabled adapted properties and foster parents. Those relying on benefit money to see them through financially may soon find themselves counting the cost and potentially, considering a move to more affordable accommodation.

With housing allowance granted according to the number of bedrooms they need, social housing tenants will only be affected should the number of their household change or rental payments can no longer be met. Despite this, online letting agent I Am The Agent has noted that the imminent introduction of the bedroom tax has already led to an increased demand for single rooms, bedsits and small one or two bedroom apartments.

Rebecca Peach from I Am The Agent explains, “Social tenants who already rent a private property would still be affected by the changes to the Welfare regulations if the number of people in their household decreases. With a few weeks to go before the new legislation comes into force, we have already seen an increase in demand for bedsits and rooms to rent as tenants look to save money and avoid paying the ‘bedroom tax’ for unused space.”

For those with smaller properties and single rooms to rent, I Am The Agent offers a fixed fee package to landlords who want to advertise a property online. Listings are visible immediately, making an online package eminently suitable for landlords able to help those expecting a bedroom tax to find a more economical home.

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