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Marching Against the Bedroom Tax in Leeds last year

Marching Against the Bedroom Tax in Leeds last year

On 15 January, Leeds city council (LCC) sent bailiffs to a tenant who could not pay his bedroom tax.

Kevin Pattison, Leeds Socialist Party

This was despite assurances given to two Leeds Labour MPs, Hilary Benn and Fabian Hamilton, and to Labour councillors, by LCC’s Labour leadership, that there would be no bedroom tax evictions.

The tenant now has a solicitor and has gained temporary access to his flat to retrieve belongings including medication and papers, but he has not been allowed to move back in.

He will be appealing against the eviction next week at Leeds county court. Hands Off Our Homes will demonstrate outside to support him and other tenants under threat of eviction.

Discretionary payments

Housing officials did not inform him he could claim Discretionary Housing Payments. We think he has a strong case for DHP. A Labour councillor is now taking up his case.

A freedom of information request shows the council has sent 919 letters to tenants affected by the bedroom tax threatening possession orders. 531 letters were to tenants whose arrears have accumulated only since the bedroom tax was introduced.

It costs over £100 to seek a possession order, which is added to the amount the tenant owes.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) will be standing candidates in the May council election, calling for a “no evictions” policy.