Recent News

Bedroom tax: One-third of disabled applicants refused emergency grants

A third of disabled applicants have been refused support from a government fund designed to give them temporary financial help to cope with cuts to their benefit income as a result of the bedroom tax, a survey claims.

Ministers have persistently rejected arguments that the bedroom tax discriminates against disabled people by arguing that the availability of discretionary housing payment (DHP) grants to vulnerable households fulfils their duties under equality laws. 

Credit union membership doubles over year

A Credit Union in North Somerset has seen its membership double in the past 12 months – following warnings about the dangers of pay-day loans.

The Somerset Savings and Loans, which was previously North Somerset Credit Union, has seen its membership increase in the last 12 months from 1,000 members to just under 2,000. 

Advice from Credit Union could save your Xmas

Its nearly Christmas and shoppers are being urged not to spoil the festive fun by creating mountains of personal debt which will take months to clear. 

Instead there are other ways to make the most of what you have and consumers who are canny could end the year by saving themselves a few pounds. 

Mayor urged not to evict over bedroom tax

Bristol Mayor George Ferguson will today be urged to continue with a "no evictions" policy over council tenants who fall into arrears because of the so-called "bedroom tax".

Tenants lose £12.70 a week in housing benefit if they are judged to have one bedroom more than they need or £23.90 a week if they have two bedrooms too many.

People with jobs claiming housing benefit on the rise

Given that you may have become used to hearing about the government tightening up on payments like housing benefits, you might be rather surprised to learn not just that the number of people who claim it has gone up by rather a lot, but also that the number of people with jobs who receive housing benefit has risen so much - an extra 310 every day claims the National Housing Federation.

That's not just because wages have stagnated so much, with many people coping with freezes to their pay, or only being able to find part-time work. But it's also down to very significant increases in the cost of private rents.

David Cameron backs deal to build 6,500 new homes for rent across UK

Thousands of new homes for rent are to be built across the UK through a major deal that has the backing of Prime Minister David Cameron.

Residential and urban regeneration specialist Sigma, has agreed a major joint venture with Gatehouse Bank plc which will support the roll-out of an initial 2,000 new privately rented residential properties across the North West, with the development cost estimated at £200m. 

Benefit changes effect still not clear, council admits

THE full effect of sweeping changes to the welfare system has yet to become clear.

A cross-party group of councillors has heard from senior officials from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) about the new Universal Credit, which was introduced in Rugby last Monday.

The meeting was part of the early stages of its fact-finding work as the council seeks assurances over the support to residents affected by the benefit cap, changes to local council tax support, the so-called bedroom tax and Universal Credit.

Dangerous properties are putting tenants at risk

The recent case of a Reading landlord who was fined £12,000 for failing to maintain a rental property, is just one example of growing problem of dangerous properties that are putting tenants at risk, according to the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC).

Ravinder Singh Takhar, 57, was recently prosecuted under the Housing Act and Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act for failing to comply with regulations in respect of managing HMOs and one of failing to provide information in respect of a property.  Takhar, a millionaire, owned and let a house which had been converted into four flats. The  fire extinguisher had not been tested since November 2006, the rear garden had become overgrown with several discarded household items in it and a gap in metal railing at the front of the house was wide enough for a small child to fall through and down to the basement flat. 

40% of tenants have to borrow to pay tenancy deposits

Four in 10 tenants say that they’ve needed to borrow money in order to pay a tenancy deposit, according to new figures from the leading tenancy deposit protection scheme, my|deposits.

The research, part of my|deposits’ quarterly Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) panel, also shows that the average tenant has paid £2,344 on tenancy deposits since renting property. 

Thousands of tenants withhold rent over “delayed” repairs

A quarter of a million private tenants a year are taking matters into their own hands and withholding rent from their landlords because of delays resolving emergencies like heating and electrical faults, new research reveals.

Figures from HomeServe, the home emergency specialists, show that one in three private tenants (34%) has faced a home emergency in the past 12 months, with boiler faults and other central heating problems the most common.