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Spare Room Subsidy

Requested on
Thu 8th May, 2014
Reference
FOI 4382
Resolution
Information provided

Question

Thank you so much for you quick reply to our previous request (4322). After looking at the figure I find it unusual that the removal of the subsidy, more than a year ago now, has as yet lead to no rent-arrears evictions. 229 tenants having obtained help from Discretionary Housing Benefit fund would, we assume, have helped significantly in
this area.

We are left seeking further clarification and ask if you can provide the following information.
• The total number of tenancies where the Spare Room Subsidy was removed?
• Number of unsuccessful applications for Discretionary Housing Benefit, made due to the subsidy?
• Whether you exercise a policy of non-eviction for these cases and if so, whether this is on condition of them actively seeking smaller accommodation or not?
o If you have records of the numb~rof tenant$ who have solved the issue by mutually exchanging and transferring their tenancy?

Answer

• The total number of tenancies where the Spare Room Subsidy was removed? – this has been read as an alternative description for those whose benefit was reduced because of under-occupation.  The number of those affected is 459

• Number of unsuccessful applications for Discretionary Housing Benefit, made due to the subsidy? – Total DHP applications made to CBC for all landlords in 2013/14 was 565 of which 213 were rejected – 38%

• Whether you exercise a policy of non-eviction for these cases and if so, whether this is on condition of them actively seeking smaller accommodation or not? – We do not have a policy of non-eviction for those subject to the under-occupation charge/spare room subsidy/bedroom tax.

We find it very difficult to identify those in arrears solely due to the reduction in HB.  We have found only 2 tenants were in arrears purely because they were failing to pay the shortfall. The remainder of those in arrears is due to a mixture of non-payment of the rent and the shortfall.
Of the 459 cases affected at 31/3/14, 208 where in arrears.

• If you have records of the number of tenants who have solved the issue by mutually exchanging and transferring their tenancy? -  We do not record this information.
There have been 59 terminations of tenancies flagged as under-occupied, however 1 moved to a bigger property, 5 to the same size property and 1 was evicted. It may be reasonable to assume the remaining 52 moved to avoid the under-occupancy/spare room subsidy charge, although this cannot confirmed.

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