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Housing Act 1985 - Bedroom Tax appeal


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I have recently fallen into the trap of Bedroom Tax.

 

I had been working full time and I am now in between positions and in receipt of UC. I researched the process with the help of relevant threads on here and have submitted a letter appealing the bedroom tax for one room as it does not meet the Housing Act criteria.

Within my letter I attached a diagram providing room measurements and submitted this via recorded delivery post, received and signed for.

 

I hadn't received a reply and was discussing another matter with the council and they said they would chase the person concerned and get a response. They said in no uncertqin terms that as we had signed and accepted the property as a three bedroom house, they were not reducing the tax.

 

Now, my thoughts are that as we had moved into this house 8 years prior to the introduction of the bedroom tax, surely this isn't sufficient and I should challenge their response?

 

Am I correct in thinking that the housing officer's decision does not meet the Housing Act provisions and therefore I have grounds to appeal this further?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Shelley

Santander PPI X 2 **WON** claims on behalf of son (Oct 2010/ Mar 2011)

Citicard O/H (PPI) - **WON** Compound Interest Dec 2011

Citicard O/H (Charges) Bailiffs sent in August 2012

Barclaycard - **WON** Compound Interest Oct 2011

Monument - account information being sought for OH

Citicard - self - N1 submitted August 2012

Barclaycard - self - **WON** damages for non disclosure/information now rec'd. Aug 2012

Barclaycard - relation - Failed SAR sent 29/09/11

Halifax SAR sent 18/08/2011 for relation

LTSB - SAR sent 09/08/2011 for friend

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What Housing Act provisions are you thinking of?

Rules can change.

 

That to be a bedroom it has to be more than 70 square metres and to be half a bedroom it has to be more than 50 square metres (available usage space)

Santander PPI X 2 **WON** claims on behalf of son (Oct 2010/ Mar 2011)

Citicard O/H (PPI) - **WON** Compound Interest Dec 2011

Citicard O/H (Charges) Bailiffs sent in August 2012

Barclaycard - **WON** Compound Interest Oct 2011

Monument - account information being sought for OH

Citicard - self - N1 submitted August 2012

Barclaycard - self - **WON** damages for non disclosure/information now rec'd. Aug 2012

Barclaycard - relation - Failed SAR sent 29/09/11

Halifax SAR sent 18/08/2011 for relation

LTSB - SAR sent 09/08/2011 for friend

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Santander PPI X 2 **WON** claims on behalf of son (Oct 2010/ Mar 2011)

Citicard O/H (PPI) - **WON** Compound Interest Dec 2011

Citicard O/H (Charges) Bailiffs sent in August 2012

Barclaycard - **WON** Compound Interest Oct 2011

Monument - account information being sought for OH

Citicard - self - N1 submitted August 2012

Barclaycard - self - **WON** damages for non disclosure/information now rec'd. Aug 2012

Barclaycard - relation - Failed SAR sent 29/09/11

Halifax SAR sent 18/08/2011 for relation

LTSB - SAR sent 09/08/2011 for friend

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'Bedroom Tax' is just a Media construct, it can apply to any room.

 

I understand but it appears that the LA officer does not understand the Housing Act 1985, and therefore should not be doing a job without the relevent qualification or training. Really winds me up when they spurge out letters they don't even know what they're doing!

 

Just another fight.......

Santander PPI X 2 **WON** claims on behalf of son (Oct 2010/ Mar 2011)

Citicard O/H (PPI) - **WON** Compound Interest Dec 2011

Citicard O/H (Charges) Bailiffs sent in August 2012

Barclaycard - **WON** Compound Interest Oct 2011

Monument - account information being sought for OH

Citicard - self - N1 submitted August 2012

Barclaycard - self - **WON** damages for non disclosure/information now rec'd. Aug 2012

Barclaycard - relation - Failed SAR sent 29/09/11

Halifax SAR sent 18/08/2011 for relation

LTSB - SAR sent 09/08/2011 for friend

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I have located a few upheld decisions on Bedroom tax across the country and I wondered if I would be permitted to use these as examples to my local borough council?

 

I am cautious to presume that the Housing Act 1985 applies to England and therefore I would be able to use the examples found. Have I answered my own question here, as I am stressed beyond belief.

Santander PPI X 2 **WON** claims on behalf of son (Oct 2010/ Mar 2011)

Citicard O/H (PPI) - **WON** Compound Interest Dec 2011

Citicard O/H (Charges) Bailiffs sent in August 2012

Barclaycard - **WON** Compound Interest Oct 2011

Monument - account information being sought for OH

Citicard - self - N1 submitted August 2012

Barclaycard - self - **WON** damages for non disclosure/information now rec'd. Aug 2012

Barclaycard - relation - Failed SAR sent 29/09/11

Halifax SAR sent 18/08/2011 for relation

LTSB - SAR sent 09/08/2011 for friend

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70 sq metres for a bedroom? there are houses smaller than that. Quote that and you will be laughed at. In imperial measurements that is a room 31 feet by 22 feet. basically bigger than the size of the footprint of a terrace house. As for bedrooms, only kitchens and bathrooms arent bedrooms as far as housing act goes for overcrowding/decency purposes

That to be a bedroom it has to be more than 70 square metres and to be half a bedroom it has to be more than 50 square metres (available usage space)
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That to be a bedroom it has to be more than 70 square metres and to be half a bedroom it has to be more than 50 square metres (available usage space)

 

Small correction, it's 70sq ft to be classed as a bedroom, HOWEVER, if your LL is social, then the LA will contact them and ask what is on your tenancy agreement, and what they class it as, one, two or three bed property.

 

AFAIK, it is ONLY LA properties that fall under that 75sq ft rule, you can always ask them for the discretionary housing payment (DHP), if you're in receipt of HB.

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

having appealed the LA rejection letter stating that i recommeneded an inspection,

and raising concerns of overcrowding

(because i had intended letting out rooms to help with overheads)

 

the officer has replied with the view that Housing services will not change their decision

as the calculation in the Act is on permitted numbers and not a physical size requirement.

No further appeal in this matter but he says i could telephone him to discuss the matter further.

 

I am aware of a councils DHP but its just that! Discretionary.......

 

This has the potential of making me homeless if i cant get this appealed.

 

How do you suggest i could move forward with this please?

Santander PPI X 2 **WON** claims on behalf of son (Oct 2010/ Mar 2011)

Citicard O/H (PPI) - **WON** Compound Interest Dec 2011

Citicard O/H (Charges) Bailiffs sent in August 2012

Barclaycard - **WON** Compound Interest Oct 2011

Monument - account information being sought for OH

Citicard - self - N1 submitted August 2012

Barclaycard - self - **WON** damages for non disclosure/information now rec'd. Aug 2012

Barclaycard - relation - Failed SAR sent 29/09/11

Halifax SAR sent 18/08/2011 for relation

LTSB - SAR sent 09/08/2011 for friend

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Do you have permission to sub let the rooms in writing?

Your intending tonsub let rooms, be it with a bed in it but do not want it classed as a bedroom?

Are you inteding letting the dwp your sub letting rooms that you want to be exempt from bedroom tax but they must have a bed( otherwise who wood rent a room they cant sleep in)

Are you having a laugh here or what?

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Do you have permission to sub let the rooms in writing?

Your intending tonsub let rooms, be it with a bed in it but do not want it classed as a bedroom?

Are you inteding letting the dwp your sub letting rooms that you want to be exempt from bedroom tax but they must have a bed( otherwise who wood rent a room they cant sleep in)

Are you having a laugh here or what?

 

 

Ah yes, you must be a true blue?

 

Clearly you haven't been at the mercy of this government, and to negate muddying the waters any further..... Shelley, ASK for DHP, the worst that can happen is they refuse, I would ONLY ring them IF YOU CAN RECORD THE CALL (?) If not, then keep everything in writing.

 

Is this a local authority property you live in?

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

I am currently appealing the bedroom tax (finally through DWP) having been given incorrect information from local council.

 

I wonder if someone might know where I can get some details from as the Housing Act 1985 section 326 (6) states; " A certificate of the local housing authority stating the number and floor areas of the rooms in a dwelling, and that the floor areas have been ascertained in the prescribed manner, is prima facie evidence for the purposes of legal proceedings of the facts stated in it."?

 

I have approached the planning department to ascertain when the house was built to try to access architect drawings but they are no longer available, apparently.

 

If I approach the council the average response is poor because they do not know what I am talking about, and if I draw their attention to what it is for, I highly suspect I will get stone-walled to prevent assistance with my tribunal.

 

I have measured the room in question skirting to skirting, and have invited them to visit the property to inspect for themselves, but this has been declined as has a mandatory reconsideration via DWP, thus the tribunal appeal is the next stage.

 

Are there any other options available to gain official diagrams/dimensions to support my appeal?

 

Thanks in advance

Santander PPI X 2 **WON** claims on behalf of son (Oct 2010/ Mar 2011)

Citicard O/H (PPI) - **WON** Compound Interest Dec 2011

Citicard O/H (Charges) Bailiffs sent in August 2012

Barclaycard - **WON** Compound Interest Oct 2011

Monument - account information being sought for OH

Citicard - self - N1 submitted August 2012

Barclaycard - self - **WON** damages for non disclosure/information now rec'd. Aug 2012

Barclaycard - relation - Failed SAR sent 29/09/11

Halifax SAR sent 18/08/2011 for relation

LTSB - SAR sent 09/08/2011 for friend

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We really need more information

 

Is this Housing Association/Council Housing etc or

 

Private Housing?

 

Please remember this is not called Bedroom Tax (most people still call it that) but it is actually Under Occupation

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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It is local council and the room has less than 50 sq ft (available) floor space.

It has never been used as a bedroom

Santander PPI X 2 **WON** claims on behalf of son (Oct 2010/ Mar 2011)

Citicard O/H (PPI) - **WON** Compound Interest Dec 2011

Citicard O/H (Charges) Bailiffs sent in August 2012

Barclaycard - **WON** Compound Interest Oct 2011

Monument - account information being sought for OH

Citicard - self - N1 submitted August 2012

Barclaycard - self - **WON** damages for non disclosure/information now rec'd. Aug 2012

Barclaycard - relation - Failed SAR sent 29/09/11

Halifax SAR sent 18/08/2011 for relation

LTSB - SAR sent 09/08/2011 for friend

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Thanks for that now I think this has happened because the Council Housing have your property classed as X Bedroom Property.

 

Is there a specific medical reason for the extra room?

 

Has the Council Housing given you option to downsize to a smaller property?

 

Have a wee look at this CAG Link: https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?393992-Bedroom-Tax-Sources-of-Interest-**Correct-as-at-Oct-2015**

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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I utilised the link you suggest awhile ago when researching my predicament so I am familiar with its contents. However, some of the links within this are no longer available.

 

The family moved into this property some 13 years ago. The children have grown up and left home and my husband passed away. The house is 3 bedrooms. However, the smallest 'bedroom' houses the entral heating boiler and the stairs bulkhead. It only has 35.77 available sq feet and has never been used as a bedroom because of this.

 

The house was adapted for my late husband and the council have not pushed for me to move albeit, I may consider it when I have completed my trauma therapy and I am fit and well again, but if one of my children decides to return home in the forth coming months then I will stay but they will not be in the smallest room.

 

I will still have excess room if my child does not return home but it will reduce the penalty from 25% to 14% which will help immensely.

 

I am aware of the discretionary housing payment but I respect it has an end date. Therefore, I am trying to locate the 'certificate of rooms' for the property to support my appeal to the tribunal.

Santander PPI X 2 **WON** claims on behalf of son (Oct 2010/ Mar 2011)

Citicard O/H (PPI) - **WON** Compound Interest Dec 2011

Citicard O/H (Charges) Bailiffs sent in August 2012

Barclaycard - **WON** Compound Interest Oct 2011

Monument - account information being sought for OH

Citicard - self - N1 submitted August 2012

Barclaycard - self - **WON** damages for non disclosure/information now rec'd. Aug 2012

Barclaycard - relation - Failed SAR sent 29/09/11

Halifax SAR sent 18/08/2011 for relation

LTSB - SAR sent 09/08/2011 for friend

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I think what you would have to consider is could that room fit a single bed if circumstances were different and the space was required.

 

If that was the case then in essence you are depriving others who need a larger home and should immediately downsize regardless of the stress, strain, upheaval and loss of social contacts and support or be faced with hunger.

 

Not my mindset btw just those who we choose to govern us !

 

Good Luck I hope you win your appeal I fully understand how it feels to be forced out of a home.

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Hi

 

Couple of links of interest:

 

The Housing Benefit and Universal Credit (Size Criteria) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2017:

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2017/213/contents/made

 

Housing Benefit Circular A3/2017:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/602934/a3-2017.pdf

(NOTE: the above link is an Automatic Download in PDF Format so Be Aware of this before Downloading)

 

Housing Benefit for local authorities: adjudication circulars:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/housing-benefit-for-local-authorities-circulars

 

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v Carmichael and Sefton BC:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5901cd57e5274a06b0000230/CH_3609_2014-00.pdf

(NOTE: the above link is an Automatic Download in PDF Format so Be Aware of this before Downloading)

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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Hi Stu,

 

Thank you for additional info. I have done extensive research on this subject and I am now trying to gather more 'personal' evidence in so much as plans from the original build of the property to ascertain number of rooms and theor sizes when built. However, the planning department have advised they no longer exist. Therefore, how can the council defend a legal case on their properties when they do not hold such information?

 

I am now drafting a Freedom of Information request on a couple of things which may help.

 

I've re-read the 'Nelson' case and realised that the UT have disagreed with the FtT that under-occupancy is the flip side to over-crowding but allowed one of the Nelson's cases on room size, layout and dimensions but as I say, I am looking for more personal evidence to support my case.

 

Might you be able to suggest who I could approach to gain specific information on the property?

I think I still have copies of the plans for my neighbour who I am attached to (they're a bought property) so it may have sizes and dimensions on those perhaps.

Santander PPI X 2 **WON** claims on behalf of son (Oct 2010/ Mar 2011)

Citicard O/H (PPI) - **WON** Compound Interest Dec 2011

Citicard O/H (Charges) Bailiffs sent in August 2012

Barclaycard - **WON** Compound Interest Oct 2011

Monument - account information being sought for OH

Citicard - self - N1 submitted August 2012

Barclaycard - self - **WON** damages for non disclosure/information now rec'd. Aug 2012

Barclaycard - relation - Failed SAR sent 29/09/11

Halifax SAR sent 18/08/2011 for relation

LTSB - SAR sent 09/08/2011 for friend

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The Housing Association would have went through the Local Authority for Planning Permission so there own Planning Department should have that information on Planning Application etc as well as the Housing Association. (have you specifically asked the Local Authorities Planning Department & HA for this information on the Property?)

 

Question? Does your Tenancy Agreement specifically state the amount of Bedrooms the Property has?

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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I am LA and yes, I asked them directly to their planning dept.

 

I am currently looking for original tenancy agreement under a mountain of archived paperwork but the housing manager's response when raising this with him was that it was signed as a 3 bed and still is a 3 bed. Naturally, I will keep looking for the tenancy document.

Santander PPI X 2 **WON** claims on behalf of son (Oct 2010/ Mar 2011)

Citicard O/H (PPI) - **WON** Compound Interest Dec 2011

Citicard O/H (Charges) Bailiffs sent in August 2012

Barclaycard - **WON** Compound Interest Oct 2011

Monument - account information being sought for OH

Citicard - self - N1 submitted August 2012

Barclaycard - self - **WON** damages for non disclosure/information now rec'd. Aug 2012

Barclaycard - relation - Failed SAR sent 29/09/11

Halifax SAR sent 18/08/2011 for relation

LTSB - SAR sent 09/08/2011 for friend

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Although the joint tenancy was agreed and signed for in 2005, spouse died in 2015 and I was entitled to sole tenancy under succession rights. Will this affect the matter in any way?

Santander PPI X 2 **WON** claims on behalf of son (Oct 2010/ Mar 2011)

Citicard O/H (PPI) - **WON** Compound Interest Dec 2011

Citicard O/H (Charges) Bailiffs sent in August 2012

Barclaycard - **WON** Compound Interest Oct 2011

Monument - account information being sought for OH

Citicard - self - N1 submitted August 2012

Barclaycard - self - **WON** damages for non disclosure/information now rec'd. Aug 2012

Barclaycard - relation - Failed SAR sent 29/09/11

Halifax SAR sent 18/08/2011 for relation

LTSB - SAR sent 09/08/2011 for friend

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