Renting could be way ahead

HOUSEHOLDERS are being urged to rent a spare room and boost their income.

Housing benefit rule changes from April next year will see working-age people living in social housing, including in Hartlepool and east Durham, have their benefits docked if they have spare rooms.

The Government is suggesting that people offer spare rooms to lodgers, with any such earnings up to £4,250 a year being tax-free.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Work and Pensions said: “Homeowners and tenants who let furnished accommodation and take in a lodger are exempt from paying tax on rental income of up to £4,250 a year. It won’t affect the amount received in child or working tax credit.”

Matt Hutchinson, from, said: “In social housing there are one million spare rooms in homes where the tenant is working-age and on housing benefit. Renting out the spare room could be a sensible option.”

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