Leeds Council saves 800 households from 'bedroom tax'

In an attempt to save more than 800 households from being subject to the new 'bedroom tax' Leeds City Council are changing the designation of some rooms in council houses to reduce the amount of under-occupation.

The move will see 837 houses have the number of bedrooms re-designated and tenants that have lost out on their housing benefits will get a refund backdated to 1 April 2013.

Housing benefit claimants have their benefit cut by 14% for those deemed to have one extra bedroom and 25% for claimants with two or more spare bedrooms.

However if the rooms in the home are not 'bedrooms' they will not fall foul of the new rules.

Under the new rules, social housing tenants deemed to have spare rooms would have to have to pay for them out of their benefits. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

The council say the move is being made to ensure the homes, "offer the right layout and design for modern living."

Councillor Peter Gruen said: “It seems that some of the properties are not sustainable moving forward and their layout does not support the current bedroom designation.

“The move to look at this change has been in part prompted by welfare changes and looking at ways to help all tenants across the city."