If you have lived in the same property and been in receipt of Housing Benefit since 1996 then you are exempt from the Bedroom Tax.
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It will be the responsibility of the Council Housing Benefits department to look at their records - not for you the tenant to have records to prove you are exempt.
Any extra rent you have already paid due to the Bedroom Tax will have to be re funded to you.
If you were awarded Discretionary Housing Benefit DHP then this you will keep - it will count as future rent paid to your landlord.
Best estimates are that 12% of tenants in Great Manchester will be exempt.
If you were forced to move, down size, or experienced 'distress' then you may well have a legal case to pursue the Council for financial compensation. Solicitors are taking cases on a 'no win no fee' basis.
Down load this simple form - fill it in - and post to your Council Housing Benefit office. If you need a hard copy then text Mark - 07765 122 829 - your postal address and he will mail one to you.
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If you need help completing the form you can come to our weekly free drop in centre, Fridays 10am - 11.30am, at Friends Meeting House, Mount St, Manchester.
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From Housing Expert Joe Halewood
1. The basic 2 conditions
If you have (a) lived in the same property since 1 January 1996 or before AND (b) have been in receipt of housing benefit (full or just 1p per week) then meeting these two conditions means you are exempt from the bedroom tax being applied.
This is due to the Consequential Provision Regulations 2006 (CPR2006) which also holds a few variations on the above basic 2 conditions.
2) Inherited the tenancy from your partner?
IF for example your partner was the tenant and they left or died and you succeeded to the tenancy after 1996 then you inherit the same protection from them as they are called the “previous beneficiary.”
NOTE WELL this only applies if they met the basic 2 conditions and you have been in continuous receipt of HB since you succeeded to the tenancy
3) Inherited the tenancy from your parents?
If you lived at the property on 1/1/96 and say your parent or parents died and you succeeded to the tenancy after 1996 then you also can be exempt if your parents met the basic 2 conditions and you have been in continuous receipt of housing benefit since you succeeded to the tenancy
4) If any of the above apply but you have had a single break in the continuous HB receipt of less than 4 weeks.
5) If you met the continuous receipt of HB but have been force to move because the original property became uninhabitable due to a force majeure (Act of God) event such as fire, flood, lightning, avalanche etc.