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Bedroom tax

(19 Posts)
Hunt11 Mon 15-Apr-13 14:58:40

Hi, I currently rent a 2 bedroomed house from a housing association which i live in with my 16 year old daughter. I am being asked to pay 12.76 per week towards my rent as they say i am under occupying the property but how can we be when i have one room and my daughter has the other. Any advice. Thanks.

RedHelenB Mon 15-Apr-13 18:11:56

How many reception rooms?

Hunt11 Mon 15-Apr-13 19:15:17

Hi, I have a front room and a backroom and a kitchen and two bedrooms and a barhroom upstairs.

Rockchick1984 Mon 15-Apr-13 19:28:56

Is your daughter still in education? I'm not entirely sure but would think that may have an impact on how much help you can get towards your rent.

Is there a number on the letter you can call?

Hunt11 Mon 15-Apr-13 19:40:34

Hi, my daughter is still at school but is going to sixth form. I contacted the housing association and they said the housing benefit told them i was under occupying and i should contact them which i have tried but have not heard anything. I would have thought the housing benefit section would have contacted me if a reduction was being made and they very confused.

lougle Mon 15-Apr-13 21:57:32

They may be counting the 'back room' as a 'bedroom' which some local authorities do. They would say you have 3 rooms that can be used as bedrooms, and need only 2.

ihearsounds Mon 15-Apr-13 22:01:07

How big is the back room. To be counted as a bedroom it needs to be a minimum size.

Hunt11 Tue 16-Apr-13 09:21:48

Hi the back room is connected to the kitchen its big enough for two small sofas and coffee table. should they be counting rooms which are obviously not bedrooms in this tax. Its ridiculous as this is not a bedroom.

noisytoys Wed 17-Apr-13 16:04:28

Where I live (south east) they count all rooms excluding kitchens, hallways and bathrooms so a living room would count as a bedroom but an open plan living room / kitchen wouldn't

carrielou2007 Wed 17-Apr-13 18:18:41

Yes it is a room that could be used for sleeping. I would hate if personally the thought if gzvinv to sleep jn a dining room
/living toom but if you receive housing benefit (obs as your circumstances mean you have to) then these are the rules you have to accept.

kittycat68 Fri 19-Apr-13 10:31:56

Funny though how if you are overcrowed though they dont give you any monies or reduction !!! They are taking people on benfits as much as they can cos they dont want to put council tax up as they would mean they would be voted out come election time! thats why they say if you are on benefits you are a scrounger and scammer and the public are then more than happy for them to pay.

terilou87 Thu 02-May-13 06:59:12

they are doing everything they can to lower housing benefit because this is the only benefit they legally can lower, councils never used to count dining rooms as a benefit till recently, however when [strikethrough] the loop hole [strikethrough] universal credit comes into play they will also be able to lower this benefit too. hope to god they dont get in next time!!

BenjaminButton172 Thu 02-May-13 07:26:23

Hi OP did u get this sorted?

I dont see how they can say a dining/living room is a bedroom. What does ur tenancy agreement say?

My sis got a letter saying she was under occupied. When she phoned & asked why they said she was under occupied. She lives in a 2 bed with partner & 2 kids. They didnt have the kids on the system. Dont know how though as ones off to school soon.

lougle Thu 02-May-13 07:44:31

The can use any room as a bedroom. Even a kitchen, if they can show that it is big enough to be considered a 'kitchen/diner'.

garlicyoni Thu 02-May-13 11:46:47

I'd suggest going back to your HA, as the bedroom tax mainly depends on what the property owner says is a bedroom. Some councils have been putting desks in second bedrooms, to re-classify them as studies grin This is obviously because they don't have enough one-bed properties to house the afflicted.

Wrt to living rooms being classified as bedrooms and so on, you need to watch out that the room could legally be used as a bedroom. For example, bedrooms aren't supposed to have gas fires. There are also laws about how many people may live in a certain amount of space; an over-zealous landlord could make the government happy by saying there are lots of bedrooms, but be breaking the over-occupancy laws. This is another good reason to get written confirmation from your HA of how many rooms, and of what type, your property has.

It does sound like a simple mistake in your case. Perhaps someone put your daughter down as 16 months, or has misread the number of rooms? Good luck smile

littlefirefly Thu 02-May-13 17:44:00

This is a Daily Mirror link (sorry) but it has a good 10-point plan on challenging the bedroom tax. Note that you have a month to challenge the decision, so you should send a letter to your HA asap. This is a good template letter from the Govan Law Centre.

NettoSuperstar Thu 02-May-13 18:06:37

Brilliat links Firefly, I'm going to write that letter tomorrow.

mum26boys Fri 03-May-13 15:02:30

It will be the HA who has told the council how many people you have in the house a they had to fill in a form and send it off to the council. My HA didn't have any of my children down on their system even though they were with me when I moved in! Check that HA has your daughter on their system.

JenaiMorris Fri 03-May-13 15:11:10

Years ago my friend was told that they were not overcrowded so couldn't be bumped up the waiting list. Their one bed flat had a sitting room, but as the kitchen was large enough for a table and a small sofa, the sitting room could be counted as a bedroom (despite the fact you had to walk through it to get to the kitchen!).

Her and her husband had a 7yo daughter and a baby!

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