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Advice on the bedroom tax - can we get exemption because my husband sleeps in the spare room?

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  • ford189ford189 Posts: 2Member
    hi could you please help.my husband is my full time carer and has been for the last 15 years ,we have a 2 bedroomed house no children because of my illnesses my husband has to sleep in the spare bedroom at least 4 nights a week due to me keeping him awake with my illnesses we use a baby monitor to communicate if i need him.i am wanting to ask some advice on the bedroom tax can we get exemption on the grounds that my husband sleeps in the spare room at least 4 nights a week.hope you can please help because i can not get any answers.
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Posts: 947Member Pioneering
    Dear Ford189,
    Thank you for your question. The Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy has seen a number of legal challenges. A recent Housing Benefit bulletin includes some Upper Tribunal decisions such as CSH/188/2014
    This case relates to a couple living in a two bedroom property who argued that due to his wife’s disabilities her husband required a bedroom of his own. The FtT allowed the appeal stating that the claimant was entitled to two bedrooms so an under-occupancy reduction was not appropriate. The Secretary of State appealed to the UT on the grounds that the FtT had applied the wrong test for justification, had not followed the decision of the Court of Appeal in ‘MA & Others’ and had instead relied upon the decision of the Court of Appeal in ‘Burnip’.
    The Judge accepted the submissions on behalf of the Secretary of State, agreed that the FtT erred in law by following the decision in ‘Burnip’ and followed the decision in ‘MA’. The Judge acknowledged that sitting as a judge of the UT in Scotland he was not bound by a Court of Appeal decision in England and Wales. He made it clear that he would only decline to follow such a decision if in his view it was “clearly wrong”. As he did not consider the decision in ‘MA & Others’ to be clearly wrong he chose to follow it.
    In addition the Judge held that the approach taken in ‘MA and Others’ applied to both decisions of the Court of Appeal on judicial review applications and also to those taken through the standard appeals procedures.
    As you will see, not very positive but if you Google some of the other cases mentioned in the above briefing it will give you some further insight into the challenges.
    Have you sought advice from an organisation that provides welfare benefits advice such as DIAL or Citizen’s Advice Bureau? Have you applied for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) and if so was this successful.
    Best wishes
    Debbie
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