Bedroom Tax: Pre 1996 claims exemption.

[Update 10/01/2014 – see further post on details of who is ‘exempt’ and suggested actions.] Readers may well have seen material going around that suggested that a housing benefit claim that was continuous from pre 1 January 1996 was exempt from the bedroom tax. I have been watching this, but kept quiet because, although the interpretation of the Regulations […]

Unsuccessful challenge to 52 weeks rule in Housing Benefit Regs

Obrey v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2013] EWCA Civ 1584 concerns an appeal against an Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber) decision which set aside the findings of the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security and Child Support) that Reg. 7(17), Housing Benefit Regulations 2006, breached Art. 14 ECHR (although not expressly set out in […]

Shorthold tenancies and council tax liability

If a tenant on a statutory periodic tenancy stops living in the property, but the tenancy is not ended, who is liable for the Council Tax? CT v Horsham District Council (HB) [2013] UKUT 617 (AAC) This was an appeal to the Upper Tribunal from the benefits First Tier Tribunal. It was actually an appeal […]

Benefit cap JR

I’ve been really slow to write this up, for which many apologies, but I have just got bogged down in other things.  The benefit cap JR got lost amongst that other stuff partly because it was almost predictable after MA that the Divisional Court would find a way to uphold it. Actually, though, having read it […]

Bedroom tax decisions update

There are two new First Tier Tribunal bedroom tax appeal decisions on the FTT decisions page, at the bottom. One from Liverpool and one from Edinburgh. Both are Article 14 discrimination based, with disabilities meaning a bedroom could not be shared, one adult partners and the other a non-dependant requiring overnight care 2 mights a […]

What use is a Zambrano right of residence?

A couple of years ago a lot of lawyers practising in housing, immigration and welfare benefits got very excited by the case of Ruiz Zambrano (European citizenship) [2011] EUECJ C-34/09. The reason for this excitement was that the ECJ said that art.20, of the Treaty, required member states to grant a right of residence to a […]

‘Gorry’ Regulations Guidance

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 […]

Not home alone.

A quick note on a succesful bedroom tax First Tier Tribunal decision in Islington. Unfortunately there is no statement of reasons [Update 21/01/2014 – Statement of reasons and adviser submissions are here] and the decision notice, which I have seen, says nothing more than the appeal being allowed. For at least part of the decision, […]

Demanding Money with Menaces

We all know that the bedroom tax has created huge problems for both tenants, desperately trying and often failing to find the additional 14% or 25% of rent, and for social landlords, watching arrears spiral rapidly upwards. But I don’t think there is anything that is capable of excusing the actions of South Ayrshire Council […]

Trust No-one

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 Background 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 […]