COLCHESTER Council has said it is aware of a loophole which has been identified in the Bedroom Tax.

The Department for Work and Pensions announced tenants who have been continuously claiming housing benefit from before 1 January 1996 and have lived at the same address should be exempt from the tax.

The department has said people who fall into the category should have their bedroom tax cut until legislation is amended and councils should refund deductions already made.

A Colchester Council spokesman said: “We are aware of an amendment to the underoccupation guidance and have been preparing to indentify residents who may be affected.

“Our housing benefit team received guidance from the department, which details how to amend claims that may be affected.

“Our initial data analysis suggests a small number of residents will be affected.

"We will contact such residents to verify details and where appropriate amend their claims.”