Live updates

Family 'threatened with eviction' for not paying bedroom tax on toilet

A Cornwall father who converted a bedroom into a toilet to help his seriously ill son says his family have been threatened with eviction for refusing to pay the bedroom tax on it.

Mike Paddington had permission to convert the bedroom after his 33-year-old son, who has been severely disabled since he was a baby, contracted a life-threatening illness last year.

He installed the separate toilet and wash basin for his son's carers and the rest of the family to reduce the risk of infection, in accordance with the law.

However his Cornish housing association landlords say the toilet should still be classed as a bedroom - leaving the family liable for an extra £700 in rent a year.

Coastline Housing Association said they agreed to the conversion but added in a statement:

Where a reasonable request is made for an adaptation to a property by a customer, such as adding a toilet and sink to a room, making it similar to an en-suite, Coastline would usually approve this, but it will not affect either the number of bedrooms or the rent.

– Coastline Housing Association

Mike claims a Coastline representative said they would take drastic action if he didn't pay the tax.

He said what we're going to do is send you an eviction order to evict you.

– Mike Paddington

Coastline said there was no imminent threat of eviction.

Councillor says bedroom tax is affecting the vulnerable

A Stroud councillor says the so-called bedroom tax is hitting the most vulnerable people in society Credit: ITV News

The so-called bedroom tax - otherwise known as the under-occupancy charge - is hitting the most vulnerable people in society, according to a councillor in Stroud.

It was introduced to try to free up under-occupied properties for families but campaigners say it should be scrapped. The Green party in Stroud says that the bedroom tax is hitting the wrong people.


BANES households hardest hit by bedroom tax

Houses in Bath and North East Somerset (BANES) have seen a greater reduction in housing benefit than those in any other South West region, according to figures from the National Housing Federation:

  • BANES: average loss of £895.82 per year
  • South Gloucestershire: £859.15
  • Wiltshire: £829.21
  • South Somerset: £780.15
  • Swindon: £777.32
  • Gloucester: £776.05
  • North Somerset: £775.67
  • Bristol: £768.95

The 'tax' - actually a reduction in housing benefit for families with spare bedrooms - was introduced in April 2013.

1000s of South West households paying bedroom tax

New figures from the National Housing Federation show that thousands of South West households are paying the 'bedroom tax' - a reduction in housing benefit for families with spare bedrooms. It was in introduced in April 2013.

  • Cornwall - 2826 households have seen a loss in housing benefit, totalling £768.95 on average
  • Plymouth - 1943 households, with an average loss of £710.75


'Bedroom tax' protests in the West Country today

Many social housing tenants will be affected. Credit: PA

A group of people will be gathering on College Green, Bristol, this lunchtime to protest against the forthcoming 'bedroom tax'. Protests will also take place in Salisbury, Stroud and Cirencester.

Under the new rules about to be introduced, social housing tenants deemed to have too many bedrooms will see their housing benefit reduced.

Load more updates