Jane visited her local CAB extremely worried because she had just found out she owed over £500 in rent, and she could not afford it.
Six months previously her relationship had broken up and she found herself homeless. Jane needed a two bedroom flat for her and her two year old daughter but her Council offered her a three bedroom flat. She was concerned about the bedroom tax but the Council told her not to worry and that she would be covered for this. However, she has now found out that the £500 rent arrears is due to the bedroom tax (under occupation penalty).
Jane’s bureau adviser called the Council, who said that the charge had been correctly applied, but recognised Jane should have been informed about the charges. Next the bureau queried why the charges were so high and arranged for Jane to meet the original housing officer who had set up her housing for her. At that meeting it transpired that the Council had not taken her daughter into account when they calculated her bedroom tax. As a result the amount she owed was reduced from £505 to £255. The CAB also helped Jane fill in an application for Discretionary Housing Payment which, if granted, could help with the additional costs being built up due to the bedroom tax.