Grimsby tenants refusing to pay Bedroom Tax

Millions of people in the UK have been affected by the new bedroom tax, and many are claiming that it is unfair to expect them to pay more or be forced to move away from their friends and family to a smaller property. Now, a number of tenants of the Shoreline Housing Association in Grimsby have refused to pay the bedroom tax, and are therefore facing eviction. One tenant is single mum Deborah Kirk, who has lived in her property for forty six years and claims that she cannot afford to pay the tax.

Ms Kirk added that she is refusing to leave her property too, and said: “I am not doing either. They are forcing me now. They are making me leave. They have told me it will go to court and what I owe in rent will keep going up and up. I am not paying it.” So far Ms Kirk owes around £160 in missed payments, which has led to the housing association having little choice but to evict her from her property. Shoreline chief executive Tony Bramley said: “The government’s changes to the benefits system are having a big impact on both social landlords and tenants.”

“We didn’t bring in these measures; in fact we warned of the probable human consequences – some of which we are now seeing. We know the bedroom tax is putting many tenants in a difficult financial position. This is our biggest concern but if tenants refuse to pay then we – as the area’s largest provider of affordable housing – may start to struggle financially as well.

“Evicting residents is the very last thing we want to do – it’s terrible for them and it’s bad for us. We’ve been working for months to identify residents who are at risk of the bedroom tax, helping them move home where possible, or helping with their budget in preparation of the changes. We have and will continue to work with residents to ensure they have a suitable, affordable place to live but it would be unfair to the majority of our rent-paying tenants to continue tenancies with people who do not take responsibility and are unwilling to make payments.”

Private landlords have also become concerned over the changes in the welfare reforms, especially as it means some of their tenants could also fall into rent arrears in the near future. This is why it more important now than ever to invest in a landlord insurance policy that includes rent protection, and to also make sure that you have a contingency plan just in case you do find yourself short on money one month.

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