‘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

Posted in assured-tenancy, Benefits, 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

Posted in assured-tenancy, Benefits, 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

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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Formerly known as.

Here is an interesting FTT bedroom tax decision from Runcorn, received via RAISE who are clearly doing good work in supporting such appeals.

The detailed statement of reasons is here (and on the FTT decisions page). The appellant is the tenant of what was classed as a 3 bedroom property by the landlord, LHT. The tenant lived there with her daughter. One additional bedroom had been found for bedroom tax purposes.

The appellant’s daughter suffered from severe physical and learning disabilities. She also had Smith Lemi Opitz Suyndrome, visual impairment and skin prone to burns and blistering through photosensitivity. She is unable to walk and is incontinent. (Her Occupational Therapist … Read the full post

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