Thursday, 24 April 2014

Victory in shared care bedroom tax tribunal

A disabled man who spends two or three nights a week at his mother’s house occupies the property for bedroom tax purposes, a tribunal has found.

Margaret Rose, 60, had a bedroom in her property for her son Steven at her Holloway home, as well as a box room used to store equipment.

She was originally told she faced a benefits cut of £30-per-week because she under-occupied the property by two bedrooms.

But a judge at the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal ruled that one bedroom was occupied by Steven, who lives in full time care when he is not at his mother’s.

The tribunal also ruled the box room, which measured less than 50 square feet, should not be considered a bedroom as it was used to store equipment.

The case follows a number of first tier tribunal judgements on the bedroom tax which have found in favour of people with disabilities.

Lorna Reid, head of welfare at Islington law centre, said: ‘We think that this decision, even if it is not binding creates space for more challenges in shared caring cases.

‘We are delighted on behalf of the appellant and very, very pleased that we are starting to force the door open for further argument.’

Despite Ms Rose’s age she did not qualify for an exemption as she was not yet claiming a state pension.

It is understood Islington Council are not planning to appeal.

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Readers' comments (10)

  • well done Margaret for having the courage to pursue this and good luck to all who find themselves in a similar situation. another nail in the coffin of this debacle

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  • Excellent - let's hope the government does not spend £millions having this over-ruled.

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  • that would depend Mr Webb on whether idsiot believes it to be the correct thing to do - after all this policy is believed to be saving us a fortune

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  • Just further proof of how poor this legislation is. Well done Margaret for defeating the government.

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  • It is understood Islington Council are not planning to appeal.

    But IDS probably will?

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  • Brilliant news Margaret! Well done you!

    Let's hope this is the start of many more. We need more sensible judges, as we don't have anyone in Government with any common sense!

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  • Brilliant! Another Win! If there is one thing that has become very apparent in recent weeks, it is that none of the political parties seem keen for the people affected to challenge the legality of the BT.

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  • Gavin Rider

    Of course this will not be appealed, because if the decision went in favour of the tenant it would set a legal precedent for all other similar cases and would require a formal change in policy by the DWP.

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  • Islington and other social landlords claiming boxrooms of less than 50 sq ft are bedrooms are expressly contravening the space standard under Part X of the Housing Act 1985 - legislation extant since 1930.

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  • No reason for Islington to appeal, this gives them clearance to pay full HB to mutual satisfaction.
    This does open the door for parents with access to children 2/3 nights a week to appeal.
    I'd expect the DWP to want to fight this one.
    Interestingly the tribunal went on the usage of the box room, not the size.

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