National Housing Federation figures published this month suggest that a quarter of tenants hit by the bedroom tax are unable to pay their rent for the first time ever.
It is estimated that over 50,000 families are in rent arrears and facing eviction as a result of the changes
Many tenants are willing to move into smaller more affordable accommodation to avoid the bedroom tax but are unable to do so. National Housing Federation research published in March estimated that over 180,000 tenants were under occupying two bedroom properties but only 85,000 one bedroom properties became available between 2011-2012
Discretionary Housing Payments are available for the most vulnerable families but many are unaware that they are able to claim such assistance and the funds available for those payments are severely limited meaning that the assistance will not be available for long.
The United Nations special rapporteur on housing Raquel Rolnik called for a re-think on the policy after finding the reform was causing great stress and anxiety to very vulnerable people
If you are facing eviction as a result of rent arrears you should seek specialist advice from a housing solicitor. Stephensons has a dedicated housing law department who can offer specialist advice and assistance.
By Amy Tagoe, housing law team