Bedroom tax notes, only just out of date.

I was one half of a seminar at Garden Court Chambers on Thursday last week on the bedroom tax for housing advisors. The excellent Liz Davies of Garden Court tackled the Court of Appeal decisions in MA & Ors and the benefit cap judgment in SG & Ors, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions & Ors [2014] EWCA Civ 156. Then I tried to cover the 1996 exemption and what was happening in the First Tier Tribunals and Upper Tribunal.

As an overview of what has happened and where we are on the bedroom tax in the tribunals, I thought the notes might be of some use, so here they are.  They only make a pretence to be even vaguely accurate up to 3 March 2014. I also shamelessly included Peter Barker’s very helpful 1996 exemption flowchart. The notes don’t include my extempore views on the DWP circular U2/2014, which came out on the same day, given at the seminar. Those initial views are here.

I have since spotted a case that makes my assertions about s.3 HRA remedies and the extent of reading in less tenable, too. In Warren v Care Fertility Ltd [2014] EWHC 602 (Fam), the High Court was prepared to read in to statute such that:

the statutory provisions, particularly the 2009 Regulations 4 and 7 should be interpreted with purpose to include the words “was, or may have been likely to become prematurely infertile”.

So, the notes should be read bearing in mind that I could well be wrong about the extent of ‘reading in’ for human rights compatibility that the higher courts might consider permissible.

About Giles Peaker

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, and still is Nearly Legal on Google +.
Posted in assured-tenancy, Benefits, Housing law - All, secure-tenancy and tagged .

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