HomeBlogIMPORTANT! BEDROOM TAX: TAKE ACTION NOW! HOW-TO AND WHY EVERYONE MUST APPEAL THEIR LOCAL COUNCIL’S BEDROOM TAX DECISION
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  • John Ingleson March 30, 2013 at 3:34 am

    Please sign the “STOP the Bedroom Tax” petition at
    http://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/bedroom-tax

  • Humanity2012 March 30, 2013 at 10:59 am

    There Must be Real Resistance to This

    Evict the Con Dem Scum Not The Poor

  • Jan Tchamani March 30, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Thank you for this useful resource. I am a local authority tenant in a tower block for ‘vulnerable older persons’ – actually, given that vulnerable means ‘wound-able’ or ‘hurt-able’ that pretty well defines how we feel right now,I would say… I recently obtained a letter from my psychiatrist explaining why my husband and I have to have a 2nd bedroom and the details are of course really intimate and embarrassing: I’m a terrible sleeper and we have to have separate sleeping accommodation. I rang the council and the person I spoke to went and found the letter and confirmed it had been received. I have still had NO RESPONSE from the council. I have now written to the person whose name was on the bedroom tax (actually ‘Size Criteria Restrictions’!) bill asking for an explanation and the documents I need to launch an appeal. This whole thing is putting huge strain on my already fragile state of mental health (I put about 75% of my energy into maintaining self-management in order to have a life). I have included in the letter 2 things: 1) the warning that I will have to get in touch with my psychiatrist to let her know the added strain I’m about to come under if we have to launch an appeal, and 2) this question: ‘How would you feel if a total stranger asked you whether you sleep with your significant other?’ I used to think they couldn’t get to you once you’re tucked up in bed. Now not even my bed is a ‘safe place’. This is a further assault on the dignity of vulnerable people in a country where it’s now ‘open season’ for those who want to hunt us down.

  • Serenity March 30, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Don’t forget in the private sector tenants on HB are being ghettoised in to the bottom 30% of available private rentals by the HBC/LHA . Previously it was 50% the new rules hit April. Meaning many families already in a property and paying above the new LHA rates will have to now move or pay the difference themselves also.

  • Ann Arky March 30, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    When requesting information by letter, asking for review, or appealing a decision: if someone – perhaps from each Local Authority area to cover all various regulations – could go to Citizens Advice or similar and put copies of main text of letters on here for others to use? This would really help those who might otherwise have to wait several months to be seen in the rush. It would also clog up the system much more quickly, and as far as I’m aware, it would still be legal. 😉

  • sylvia greatrex April 2, 2013 at 10:14 am

    I shall definetely try this Thankyou x

  • Pete April 4, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Prior to the 1 April 2013, Schedule 2, paragraph 3, sub-paragraph (2) of the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 gave local authorities the power to refer Housing Association rents to the Rent Officer for a maximum rent decision where:-

    (a) the claimant occupies a dwelling larger than is reasonably required by the claimant and any others who occupy that dwelling (including any non-dependants of the claimant and any person paying rent to the claimant); or
    (b) the rent payable for that dwelling is unreasonably high.

    With effect from 01 April 2013 Schedule 2, paragraph 3, sub-paragraph (2) has been amended so that a local authority may only refer Housing Association rents to the Rent Officer where:-

    (b) the rent payable for that dwelling is unreasonably high.
    A further amendment to the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 inserted new Regulation B13 (Determination of a Maximum Rent (Social Sector)) with effect from 01 April 2013 – this gave Local Authorities a duty (not a discretion) to determine a limited rent where the number of bedrooms in a dwelling exceeds the number of bedrooms to which the claimant is entitled.

  • Puddled April 5, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Have sent the template above to Durham County Council and basically just been told that the decision with regards to how many bedrooms are in my social housing is entirely determined by the housing association. The only thing Durham County Council have done is passed on my correspondence to my housing association!

  • Pete April 7, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    The template is flawed because the person who wrote the template letter didn’t take into account the Government changed the legislation regarding rent officers.

    When people claim housing benefit they fill in a claim form and then at random intervals they send out reviews and one of the questions would be on how many bedrooms in the property. The rent your social landlord charges also depends on how many bedrooms you have – for example £70 for one bedroom, £80 for two bedroom property, £90 for a three bedroom property.

    So if you argue you live in a one bedroom property the housing benefit department will reply why have you completed numerous claim forms stating it was a two bedroom property, why does your tenancy agreement state it is a two bedroom property and why is your landlord charging you rent for a two bedroom property – if you demanded your appeal went before an Appeal Tribunal it would be kicked out straight away.

    If your housing association reclassifies your property from a two bedroom to a one bedroom the council has the power to ask the rent officer service to reduce the housing benefit if your landlord continues charging you there rent for a two bedroom property and they have reclassified your home as a one bedroom to avoid the bedroom tax.

    So whatever way the council has the power to cut your benefit thanks to the Government changing the legislation where they can refer your home to the rent officer service if your rent is unreasonable high. By unreasonable high – being charged the housing association rent for a two bedroom property if your landlord reclassifies it as a one bedroom property to avoid the bedroom tax.

  • A A F April 7, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    I’ve had to prolong and delay everything here due to waiting for letters from DWP on what benefits I was getting and I had until the 6th April to get that in writing. Well, I didn’t hear from the DWP about my benefits (to say it had been paid into my bank acct) until Friday dinnertime (our postie hasn’t seen a morning in MONTHS) and letters from the council didn’t arrive until Saturday. Rather convenient, right? This means I’m going to the local advice and information centre (just across the road from me) in the morning, to get this sorted once and for all. However, I am doing this reluctantly, but, I’ve also taken notes from the appeal letter you have published as I will probably more than likely end up in a verbal discussion with someone and the council usually monitors/records calls, so there’ll be a record and a witness that I have said what I’ve said. Sometimes, the written word prompts a bot to send out an automated ‘thank you’ letter – I don’t want to be dealing with bots!
    Besides, I find it rather convenient that the rent on my place went up by 14% just prior to this lousy stinking rotten bedroom tax kicking in. There aren’t the 1 bed properties here that’s needed! the council has given permission for some new homes to be built and the majority of them are TWO bedrooms! Somehow, this has all been carefully planned – well, it feels that way!

  • t and w July 6, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    I wrote to my local council in Basildon, was told there is No exemptions to the Bedroom tax, even if it is a boxroom,used as a study, or prayer room, etc., he said a bedroom is a bedroom. All who are supposed to pay must. I wrote back asked how is it other councils in the country have re classified hundreds of tenants so why cant they, havnt had an answer, yet ! Met a couple yesterday who were evicted and had to live in a tent for awhile.

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