In other bedroom tax news, the DWP has issued a Circular to Local Authorities on The Housing Benefit and Universal Credit (Size Criteria) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2013 – the new regulations implementing the Gorry judgment on LHA and housing benefit assessments involving disabled children unable to share a bedroom by reason of their disability. The new regulations are in force from 4 December 2013, some time after the Minister got a thorough telling off on the failure to introduce regulations in R (MA & Ors).
A quick note on a succesful bedroom tax First Tier Tribunal decision in Islington.
Unfortunately there is no statement of reasons (or at least yet) and the decision notice, which I have seen, says nothing more than the appeal being allowed. For at least part of the decision, the reasons could be rather crucial, as we will see. The Law Centre caseworker for the appellant has given me all the information she has, but without reasons, we can’t be sure. There are news reports here and here. (I have decided not to use the appellant’s name. I see no reason to do so).
The appellant was the tenant of … Read the full post
Emery v Wandsworth LBC (2013) QBD 14 November 2013 [not reported elsewhere, note on Westlaw]
This was an application by Ms E for permission to apply to discharge a Civil Restraint Order made against her in the High Court. Ms E had made an urgent application in person to the High Court for a stay of eviction. This had been granted by a High Court judge who was unaware (and not told by Ms E) that she had a CRO against her in the County Court, and ongoing County Court proceedings on the eviction. In fact, the County Court case was due to have a hearing on the same day … Read the full post
The DWP issued a bedroom tax related circular on 30 October 2013. HB U7/2013. The full text is below.
Removal of the spare room subsidy – First tier Tribunal decisions
1. Generally local authorities (LAs) initiate appeals to the Upper Tribunal in HB cases.
2. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) may opt to join an appeal or in some cases will take appeals forward where LAs have chosen not to do this. However, in order to do this DWP needs to be aware of the case, and as these decisions are returned only to LAs, DWP are not routinely made aware of these First tier Tribunal (FtT) decisions.
3. DWP needs to get a
The Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act comes into force tomorrow (Tuesday 15 October 2013) in England only. The text of the Act is here. A key point is the introduction of ‘Unlawful Profit Orders’, which get around the decision of the Court of Appeal in Sumal v Newham London Borough Council  EWCA Crim 1840 that confiscation of rent was not possible because ‘the continued receipt of the rent was not the product of the appellants crime’. (Admittedly that was a prosecution for an unlicensed property in a selective licensing area under section 95(1) of the Housing Act 2004, but the point about confiscation not being enabled under … Read the full post
A proper note to follow, but there has been a significant First Tier Tribunal appeal in a bedroom tax related case in Hereford. The decision is here (and also on the FTT decision page in the menu above).
This is an LHA decision, not on the bedroom tax. While the provision considered is effectively the same, there is a distinction made in terms of justification of policy which may be significant.
It is a reasoned decision based on Article 14, distinguishing MA & Ors, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions & Ors  EWHC 2213 (QB). It is an English decision, so unlike … Read the full post
You may well have seen or heard press stories on a First Tier tribunal bedroom tax appeal decision in Redcar and Cleveland. There has been a lot of excitable comment about it representing a ‘landmark appeal‘ and ‘hope for 440,000 disabled’. Even the tenant’s landlord, who supported her, described it as ‘fantastic news’ which “which should give hope to hundreds of thousands of disabled people right across the country”.
Courtesy of Joe Halewood, I have a copy of the decision notice and summary of reasons given by the FTT. A copy is here.
In view of the interest and hopes this decision has raised, it gives me … Read the full post