Category Archives: Benefits

All benefit related posts

‘We told you so’ corner

The DWP has very belatedly issued the interim review of the bedroom tax (under occupation penalty, removal of the spare room subsidy, whatever). The document can be found here, based on a survey for the period to April/Nov 2013.

And the results are… entirely predictable to everyone but the DWP.

Some headlines…

Social landlord rent arrears rose by 16% between April 2013 and November 2013. The report can’t quite bring itself to pin this on the bedroom tax, although noting that this was not a period of the year when arrears have traditionally risen, “it must be emphasised that the cause of this is uncertain and we cannot directly … Read the full post

Also posted in assured-tenancy, FLW article, Housing law - All, secure-tenancy | | Tagged | 10 Comments

Privacy, lifts and bedrooms

An interesting First Tier Tribunal decision from Sunderland (Statement of Reasons).

The claimants/appellants were joint tenants of what had been a three bedroom property. One of the joint tenants suffers from severe and degenerating muscular dystrophy, and had been reliant on a wheelchair for the last 14 years. In about 2006, the property had been adapted in view of the tenant’s disability. Two bedrooms were knocked into one large one and the existing stair lift was replaced by a vertical lift from the living room into what had been the third bedroom.

Despite this, the property was assessed by the council as having two bedrooms (originally they found … Read the full post

Also posted in assured-tenancy, Housing law - All, secure-tenancy | | Tagged | 4 Comments

Domestic violence and the bedroom tax

A judicial review of the bedroom tax has been given permission, where the claimant is a victim of domestic violence who has received support to remain in her home through a ‘sanctuary scheme’.

The woman, a victim of rape, assault, harassment and stalking by an ex-partner, lives in a three bed property with her 11 year old son and has had a 14% reduction in HB applied. The property had been previously adapted under the ‘sanctuary scheme’, with a ‘panic space’ installed in her home, and a specialist ‘sanctuary system’ installed.  This includes expensive reinforced doors, electric alarms, a marker on the house and alarms linked to the police station.… Read the full post

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Bedrooms: Living, moving and relaxing

A couple of new bedroom tax FTT decisions (also on the FTT decisions page)

The first, from Liverpool [reasons here], is a fairly standard room size decision on a room measuring 44 square feet. However the room had a bunk bed in it, used by the tenant’s grandchildren occasionally when they stayed.

However, the Tribunal’s reason for deciding that the room was not a bedroom for the purposes of the regulations, strikes me as one of the best, and least assailable set of reasons yet given.

The Tribunal was aware of the stipulations of the Housing Acts [1098 and 2004], as well as the Housing Health and Safety

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Pregnancy and Worker Status

Saint Prix v SSWP Case C-507/12 must be one of the more obvious decisions of the CJEU in the sense that the outcome should have been apparent (although the rationale less so), but no less important because of that.  The question on reference from the UKSC was, in essence, whether somebody who becomes pregnant loses their worker status for the purposes of Article 7(1), Directive 2004/38/EC.  As one of my colleagues put it, the case is of “mild interest”.

Bearing in mind the significance of losing worker status, in terms of eligibility for homelessness assistance/allocation and the range of benefits, this is a question of some importance.  The outcome, which … Read the full post

Also posted in FLW case note, Homeless, Housing law - All | | Tagged , | 2 Comments

On the naughty step: The unacceptable face of London landlords

Some of you, those in London at least, might have noticed Boris Johnson announce a new, and completely voluntary, no compulsion here, landlord accreditation scheme. The idea being that tenants, desperate to find somewhere in the middle of the worst accommodation shortage in London for many, many years, will choose to avoid a ‘non-Boris’ landlord. This is of dubious worth, but no matter, what concerns us here is what followed that announcement. Bear with me, because it is worth it in the end.

At the next London Assembly Questions to Boris session, Andrew Dismore, Labour Assembly member for Barnet and Camden (oh yes, Barnet), wanted to ask Boris … Read the full post

Also posted in Assured Shorthold tenancy, FLW article, Housing law - All | | Tagged , | 24 Comments
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