Bedroom Tax has been a hot topic of late, with many social renters struggling to cope with the charge. There might be a chink of light in all the gloom though, as a tribunal in Middlesbrough has decided a child of parents who are living apart is entitled to have their own bedroom in each of their parents' homes, and that Bedroom Tax shouldn't apply.
While the local authority felt that a single man, in a two-bed semi, was under-occupying his home, Judge Moss disagreed and said that his child was entitled to his own room "and consequently no deduction applies", adding: "It's now a normal part of society that children split their time between their parents."
So how do you appeal the Bedroom Tax?
Well, if you think you have a genuine reason why you need a spare room, firstly, you need to see if you have a case. Coast & Country, say that some of the reasons you might convince a tribunal are:
- You need an extra bedroom due to overnight needs of a child with disabilities
- The need for separate bedrooms owing to adult disabilities
- Need for bedroom for student who is studying away from the home
- ‘Exceptional use’
- The room is too small to constitute a bedroom
- It is used as a bedroom
- Child access
- 12 month protection on death (joint tenant)
- 12 month protection on death (where a further change reduces the number of rooms needed)
One thing to do, is to look at some previous decisions (which you can do here). If you see that a previous case was rejected that is similar to your situation, remember that your circumstances could well be different, so it is still worth pursuing. Cases that involve children or people with disabilities certainly have a stronger chance of success.
You should absolutely write an appeal letter - you need to write to your Housing Benefits section and ask them to appeal your claim. Whether you're looking after a disabled partner or child, a parent has passed away, you have a child studying away from home, your room is too small, or whatever it is, there's some great template letters you can use to appeal.