Category Archives: secure-tenancy

‘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

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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

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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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Condensation damp and saturated plaster

Just a quick note on a County Court disrepair trial with an interesting finding on damp plaster

DR v Southwark LBC, Lambeth County Court 11 June 2014

DR had brought a claim for disrepair including for damp, saturated plaster to the external wall in the bathroom. There was, it appeared from first inspection, a mix of damp penetration and condensation damp.

The expert inspection before trial included carbide testing to the core of the wall which showed that while both the external surface and the internal surface and plaster of the wall remained wet, the core of the wall was dry, showing no water penetration.

At trial, the Claimant … 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

Read the full post
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The state of that bedroom

This is a rather unusual bedroom tax First Tier Tribunal decision from Islington. (Decision notice. Also on the FTT decisions page.)

There was one additional room, classed as a bedroom by the landlord, Islington Council. The tenant appealed on the basis that the condition of the room through disrepair (or rather, I understand through condensation damp and mould) meant that it was not suited to use as a bedroom.

Remarkably, and despite parallel disrepair proceedings, the room remained in this state and there was expert evidence before the adjourned FTT hearing.

The FTT concluded that, at the time of the HB decision, “the state of the disputed room … Read the full post

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