HomeBlogScotland’s ‘Hostages of the Bedroom Tax’
  • DaveS March 29, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Whilst the efforts by GHA to purchase 1 Bed flats to get round the “bedroom tax” are commendable – is it not missing the point that the regulations actually fail to define a “bedroom”. Rumours have suggested a minimum 70 sq ft. (a 7ft by 10ft room – Parker Morris used to require a minimum 6.5 sq m)(Nottingham has already “ruled out rooms under 50 sqft) – but when does a store room count as a bedroom?. I note that Frank Field MP has called on landlords to “brick up the doors to spare bedrooms and, where appropriate, knock down the walls” so that the properties can safely fit the tenants. When does a small box room cease to be a “bedroom” and become a “walk in wardrobe”?

    I note that to count as a “habitable room” under Domestic Building Standards (Section 3.14 and 3.16) a “bedroom” has to have ventilation (either natural ventilation of at least 1/30th floor area (used to be 1/20th) or mechanical or trickle ventilation) AND have illumination (a window) of at least 1/15th of the floor area (used to be 1/10th). So minor works affecting the window area or ventilation would technically make such a room “non-habitable” and therefore unable to formally be counted as a habitable “bedroom”. So is it not more cost effective for responsible social landlords to develop a cheap minor works programme to help affected tenants? Perhaps linked to a campaign for better minimum housing quality standards?

    Ironically this reflects the historic window tax (introduced 1696, repealed in 1851) where to avoid the tax houses bricked-up their less important window-spaces to avoid or reduce the tax. Hopefully we won’t have to wait 155 years before the “bedroom tax” is kicked out.

  • K Peake March 29, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    “Only free men can negotiate. Prisoners can’t enter into contracts.” Nelson Mandela

    Make the break, Scotland. Set us a good example.

  • Dave McEwan Hill March 29, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    The only people “playing politics” on this issue is the sad a sorry Labour Party in Scotland trying to pretend that Labour did not vote against his matter in Parliament. Are you trying to divert us from pointing this out?

  • Serenity March 29, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    you are seen as making yourself intentionally homeless if evicted for non payment of rent so they then refuse to help you if you are made homeless because of it!
    I despair I really do!

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