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DWP Will Not Appeal Upper Tribunal On ‘Bedroom’ Definition

February 18, 2014

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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has said it will not be appealing an Upper Tribunal decision on the meaning of the word ‘bedroom’ as a room which must contain a bed.

The announcement follows an appeal win in South Wales which raised the recently announced Bolton Upper Tribunal decisionthat gives a definition of bedroom as “a room used as or furnished as sleeping accommodation”.
A tenant in Monmouth appealed against being hit with the ‘bedroom tax’ after the landlord and council said he has a home with four bedrooms. The tenant said the smallest rooms are too small (60.7 and 69.4 sq/ft) and that they are used as an art room and as a study.
The judgment said that a bedroom “is not defined by the legislation. This has most recently been pointed out in the Upper Tribunal decision 2014 UKUT 48 AAC.  A(t) paragraph 19 of that decision the Tribunal helpfully refer to various definitions of a bedroom.”
Paragraph 19 said in simple terms that ‘bedroom’ is a room used as or furnished as sleeping accommodation.
The judgment added:

“The Tribunal finds that neither of the two smallest rooms are bedrooms. They do not contain beds, they are not used for sleeping, they can only be occupied by a child under 10, a half person…”
Asked what assessment has been made of the implications for the collection of the under-occupancy penalty, DWP minister Steve Webb (pictured) said the Upper Tribunal decision “relates to the award of local housing allowance not the removal of the spare room subsidy”.

He added:

“The Department has considered the Tribunal’s decision in depth, and whilst we do not agree with some aspects of it the outcome is correct. The Department has therefore decided not to appeal the decision further.

If this Upper Tribunal decision is relied upon in subsequent First-tier tribunal decisions on the removal of the spare room subsidy the Department will consider whether it is appropriate to intervene in individual cases.”

One Comment leave one →
  1. rainbowwarriorlizzie permalink
    February 18, 2014 2:53 pm


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