Landlords called not to evict tenants affected by bedroom tax

In the past few weeks we have been discussing how landlords and local councils across the UK have been trying to find ways to help their tenants that will be adversely affected by the upcoming bedroom tax, and now it seems some are taking even more extreme measures. For example, in Scotland, Dundee City Council have decided that they will not evict social housing tenants who struggle to pay their rent after their housing benefits are cut as part of the scheme.

The Council is now also calling upon private landlords with tenants that receive housing benefits to also be more lenient, and to use all reasonable means to prevent evictions after the welfare reforms have come into effect. The Council have already decided that any tenant that genuinely struggles to pay their rents will not be evicted from their homes, and instead will try to recoup the money using other means so that tenants can be secure in the knowledge that they will not lose their homes.

Housing minister Margaret Burgess said: “I have now written to landlords to encourage them to look sympathetically on tenants affected. We already have strong safeguards in place to ensure eviction is an absolute last resort. While we do not want to see tenants run up debts they cannot pay, it is important, in what will be challenging times, that extra consideration is given to people who are having housing benefit taken away. Dundee City Council has taken innovative action on this, clarifying that, where tenants are doing all that can be reasonably expected in order to avoid falling into arrears, they will use legitimate means to collect rent due, except eviction.”

“I know other councils are also working towards a similar position and I hope landlords across Scotland can follow this example. There are also circumstances where a bedroom’s classification may be changed and tenants not penalised. Again, I would encourage landlords to consider this possibility.” In order to help landlords and tenants who will be affected by the housing benefit cuts the Council has already made extra funding available, however there are also other ways landlords can cover losses from the cuts. Some landlord insurance policies include rent guarantee insurance which will cover the costs if your tenant fails to pay their rent, meaning that you will not have to consider evicting your tenant and replacing them in order to guarantee income.

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