22/01/2014

It’s the way that you use it.

I’ve just received a new First Tier Tribunal bedroom tax decision from Rochdale. This one is interesting because it is the first that I have seen based solely on the tenant’s use of the disputed room. The statement of reasons is here (and now on the FTT decisions page).

In short the tenant had what was classed by the landlord as a two bedroom property. He argued that one of these ‘bedrooms’ was used as a dining room, because the kitchen was part of the living room and there was no room to have a dining table in the living room. The room had never been used as a bedroom by the tenant and he had been looking for a one bed flat when allocated this property. Held “landlords cannot arbitrarily reclassify room use” and was never used as bedroom, despite tenant having signed description of property as 2 bed, with tenancy agreement and in HB application.

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.

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