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2 new Bedroom Tax Decisions

2 Bedroom Tax decisions

[2017] UKUT 471 (AAC) CH 1987/2016

A 3 Judge panel determined that a decision about whether a dwelling is underoccupied should take into account the people actually occupying the dwelling and whether they can occupy the bedrooms in their property as required by the regulations  This is in contrast to previous caselaw.

In other words if (as in this case) the bedrooms were too small/ the wrong shape to accommodate more than one child then each of the two children under 10 needed their own bedroom even though under HB Regulation B13 (5) they are regarded as only needing one bedroom between them.

They called this the 'connection issue'.

Although this was the Judge's decision - ie that a claimant's entitlement to bedrooms under Regulation B13 must take account of the claimant's ability to use their bedrooms as required in the Regulation - the case itself was remitted for a fresh hearing,  for further findings of fact on whether changes could be made to the room to allow two children to occupy it (the problem being that the top bunk was too close to a light fitting.) 

(2017) UKUT 473 (AAC) CUC 2385/2016

This was a case of a bedroom of less than 50 square feet that didn't have room for both a bedside table and storage (as deemed necessary in "Nelson" and CH/454/2015. the judge decided that a separate bedside table and clothes storage furniture is not required - a chest of drawers of appropriate height and placement can serve a dual function.
And the LACORS guidance relating to health and safety provisions in the Housing Act 2004 is not statutory guidance and is not binding on anyone in deciding whether a room is a bedroom for under-occupancy purposes.