The Spare Room tax. Is it REALLY unfair?

OK. I don’t see what all the fuss is about. Why is it unreasonable to ask someone to either move to a smaller property or to pay for rooms they choose to have, but no longer need?

I live in a rented property with the Stroppy’s. We have 3 bedrooms, so Stroppy’s 1 & 3 have to share. They have no choice. The law says they should have separate bedrooms because they have an age gap of over 10 years, and frankly Stroppy 1 is entitled to her privacy at almost 18. But she doesn’t have it and because we are in rented property I don’t think I have any right to demand it for her. Even if I did, we wouldn’t be able to move to a 4 bedroom property. Why? Well, because all the people whose children have grown up and left are living in them when they no longer need them.

It’s a stupid situation that needs rectifying. NOW. And that’s precisely what’s happening, although the government have made an almighty cock-up by not including pensioners in this. They are the ones most guilty of this and who don’t give a toss how other people are living, so long as they can keep ‘their’ home. But that’s just the point. It isn’t their home. They are owned by the Local Authority in most cases and as soon as they are being under occupied then the tenants should be asked – no, told, to move to a smaller property.

I know a lady who lived with her husbands parents until they died. The property then handed down to her husband, so they and their 2 sons lived in a 4 bedroom property. One son got married and moved out, so that left 2 bedrooms not being used. Sadly her husband died suddenly. Now this is where the problem lies. You see, a local government property is meant to be handed down once only. This is to make it fair, and to free up bigger properties. But they allowed her and her son to stay. For the past 10 years or so she has been living in this big house which would be ideal for a young family, and she is completely indignant because she sees it as her home. Now her other son has moved out so she is in a 4 bedroom house all by herself.

Why should this lady be living in a 4 bedroom house by herself? What right does she have? In a word, none. She did in fact have enough money to buy the property when the 66% discount was still allowed – but she chose not to. So why now should she be able to live in it, depriving another family of the opportunities she was afforded?

By not including pensioners in this new ‘rule’, the government have wasted an opportunity to free up family houses for the waiting lists, and they would also have been able to put the pensioners into properties they could manage. Perhaps a bungalow so they didn’t have to worry about stairs, or a sheltered housing that would mean they would be able to socialize instead of being lonely, sitting in a big house on their own – a house they can’t afford to heat with gardens they can’t tend.

What needs to happen is that from now on, new tenants shouldn’t be given ‘secure’ tenancies, but ‘conditional’ tenancies. This would mean that if they cause trouble, don’t keep the house in a habitable state, or are living in a property that is bigger than their needs, amongst other things, then they can be told to move out – either evicted in the case of neighbour nuisance, or to a smaller property when under occupying. A simple solution that would stop people dragging cases through courts for years and would allow the local governments to ease their housing lists substantially.

If you want your home to stay your home until you pop your clogs, then buy it! It’s not rocket science. I’m sick of listening to people on the radio talking about their situation and moaning that they can’t possibly afford the property they live in as it’s in bloody Knightsbridge or Kensington & Chelsea. Honestly! If you can’t afford to buy there, then move.That’s what other people who want their house to remain their house do. They travel to work. It’s called commuting. Buy a property in a place you can afford, then find a job closer or travel to work. Them’s the choices……

I’ve brought my children up in the house I live in, but as soon as Stroppy 1 & 2 are finished with schooling or go to Uni, I’m off to live with lovely man! My ‘home’ will go to someone else who needs it, and good luck to them. I hope they’re as happy there as I have been.