788 refunds for bedroom tax tenants secured by housing association
A housing association in Kent has used its ‘unregistered’ status to secure bedroom tax refunds work over £500,000 for 788 of its tenants.
MHS Homes has used a loophole to persuade Medway Council to reverse the benefit cut imposed on tenants, reports Inside Housing.
Through this loophole MHS were able to exempt its tenants from the bedroom tax because whilst it is a large scale voluntary transfer association, it is unusual as it’s not registered as a provider with the Homes and Communities Agency.
Due to this LSVT status, its tenants were also exempt from local housing allowance restrictions. It is the only landlord in the country whose tenants are exempt from both bedroom tax and LHA limits.
The refunds have totalled over £500,000 and were made to 788 tenants in may.
MHS Homes was alerted to the exemption by Peter Barker, a housing benefits expert who trades under the name ‘HB Anorak’. Mr Barker hit the headlines last year when he identified a temporary loophole for tenants who had been claiming benefits since 1996. The loophole has since been closed.
Ashley Hook, chief executive of MHS Homes, said: “We are grateful for the expertise of Mr Barker in helping us, this was a great case for [our] tenants.”
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