Romford hero explains his ‘bedroom tax’ loophole that could cost government £26m

12:00 17 January 2014

Peter Baker scrolling through reams of information on  the bedroom tax

Peter Baker scrolling through reams of information on the bedroom tax


In December, I suggested that council and housing association tenants getting housing benefit for the same home since 1996 are exempt from the bedroom tax.

Last week ministers acknowledged that my analysis is correct. Councils are now indentifying tenants eligible for refunds.

The refund is available to people whose housing benefit is reduced by the bedroom tax and who have been on housing benefit for the same home since January 1996 without a break. One break of up to four weeks is ignored and a longer break is ignored if you started work after being long term sick and then became sick again within 52 weeks.

In some cases, the exemption can be passed from one person to another.

Some councils are finding that their records as far back as 1996 are not easy to search and in some cases have been destroyed completely. So if you think you qualify for the exemption contact the council’s benefits department.

If the council does not agree that you qualify, you can appeal as long as the council receives it within 13 months of the original bedroom tax decision last year. For most people this will be around the end of March so there is still time.

Related articles


Latest News Stories

Ivana Bartoletti

An NHS worker and a mother expecting her second child, Labour’s London Assembly candidate, Ivana Bartoletti, wants to send a message of “trust and hope”.

Picture: BrianAJackson

The A127 Ardleigh Green Bridge was reduced to a single lane carriageway in both directions on Monday as work to replace it continues.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson announced a multi-million plan for the redevelopment of 86 acres of industrial land owned by the Greater London Authority in London Riverside on Friday.

A multi-million plan to develop 86 acres of riverside land will regenerate at least eight run-down industrial sites in Rainham.

Yesterday, 17:57
Circus big top. Picture: Johnny Green/PA

Rival circuses are accusing each other of using “every trick in the book” to drum up publicity for their own event after rolling into town at the same time.

Yesterday, 17:24
Rainham Hall

An 18th century manor upheld as one of the country’s finest surviving examples of a Georgian merchant’s home has opened to the public for the first time.

Yesterday, 14:55
The site would be one of three in London. Picture: David Parry/PA

Drivers could be popping into Rainham to charge their hydrogen-fuelled cars within 18 months after developers earmarked the area for their £31million project.

Yesterday, 12:29
Gray Gardens

A teenager has been charged with kidnap and attempted robbery after an abduction in Elm Park.

Yesterday, 10:31

Staff from F Barnes Solicitors holding a fundraising event for Saint Francis Hospice at Romford Bowls Club.

Businesses donated both their time and money for a good cause.

Most read news

News from your area


Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.


You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

You won't need to fork out for groceries for a while!

Asda, one of the country’s leading supermarkets, prides itself in being one of the cheapest places to shop, so you can be sure that your money will go a long way here!

Digital Edition

Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder