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Thread: Bedroom Tax Loophole

  1. #1

    Bedroom Tax Loophole


    I am exempt from having to pay the bedroom tax as I have been on Incapacity Benefit from 1993 up to December 2013 when I was put in the Support Group ESA. I have also lived in the same Council House before 1993.

    I wrote to Council explaining this and after three weeks I get a letter telling me to get in touch with DWP and ask them for the proof, so I have wrote yesterday to the DWP where all records are held. What I wish to know is that in the letter the person who told me to send in proof has put a limit on the date it has to be back to them, which is the 4th March 2014.

    I do not think that is fare that gives me 22 days for this proof to come back to me and there only 28 days in this month, let alone get it sent into them as I am sure there will be loads and so it will get delayed in that respect.

    If I am correct this person cannot put a time limit on something that is legal can they? I just feel like the person is trying to block or do things in a way that is going to be difficult for me. So I think I may need to make an appointment with the Mental Health CAB that is near to me; I have phoned but it was leave your message and a number, and I have done so.

    Does anyone have any info on this can she put a time limit on it?
    Last edited by sunny; 02-08-2014 at 02:05 PM. Reason: spelling error "do" should be "done"

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    I think it is because the bedroom tax loophole is closing in March, so people have to get their claims in before it closes. As it is the government who have decided to close the loophole, it is, I believe, a legal requirement that Councils etc have to have all claims settled before the closing date.
    I could be wrong in this and if so, I am sure someone else with maybe more info will be able to help.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

  3. #3
    A time limit of one month or such longer period as the local authority may allow is set down by regulation 7(5)(a) of The Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit (Decisions and Appeals) Regulations 2001 (SI 2001/1002). If you do not provide the information in time, regulation 7(5)(b) applies and the decision will be made without additional evidence, which may well mean your application will be denied.

    If you are experiencing a problem in getting evidence in time to meet the time limit, contact the local authority before the time limit expires and ask them to extend the time limit.

  4. #4

    I seen Vikstar on here say it would still apply regardless of the closing date of the loophole as in the link below.

    I have put my claim in (January) before the loophole ends, so that still allows my right to get my money back, it doesn't change the law from previous errors. I will have to request an extended date if not heard back within 10 days.
    Last edited by sunny; 02-08-2014 at 06:09 PM. Reason: extra info

  5. #5

    I understand once they close the loophole I will have to begin paying rent again. I am still owed the previous years money back.

  6. #6 You may find the following link useful. I can not verify that everything said is gospel but I do know that the case mentioned was a genuine case so Maybe we will hear more in the press in the very near future!

  7. #7

    Just wondered if I am late in getting details back, and if they decide against then surely I can still appeal?

  8. #8
    I haven't been following Upper Tribunal and court decisions relating to the "bedroom tax", so am not aware of the wider context surrounding this decision.

    The ordinary position is that a word or phrase not defined by legislation takes its ordinary meaning, so this decision is not surprising, though I would add, without providing an essay on statutory interpretation, that there are other interpretative approaches, admittedly less commonly used, which attempt to uphold the intent behind the legislation. Whenever there is any dispute about the meaning of legislation, there is no such thing as the one true interpretation. The best you can hope for is for a determination to be made in a sufficiently high tribunal or court to give a binding definition that is workable.

    Arguably, it is absurd to allow the will of Parliament to be subverted by not using a bedroom as a bedroom. It could well be that this decision of the Upper Tribunal is appealed to the Court of Appeal and maybe beyond there to the Supreme Court.

    The surprise is that bedroom is not defined in the legislation, though I expect this was deliberately done knowing it is difficult to provide a definition that does not create latitude for some tenants to argue they have fewer bedrooms than the number stated by the landlord. I expect the hope was that the landlord's started number of bedrooms would be accepted unquestioningly by the decision maker, which has almost invariably happened so far but is not sustainable if this Upper Tribunal decision prevails.

    You cannot defeat policy in the courts, though you can neutralise the effects of that policy. If the failure to define bedroom means all decisions so far are subject to challenge, which would leave the law unworkable in practice as it stands, the Government can easily amend the legislation to insert a definition of bedroom which does not require individual assessment of people's homes.

    The presumption is always that a change in legislation does not have retrospective effect, but there are situations in which laws have retrospective effect. Rather than full retroactivity, which could have various messy side-effects especially in relation to appeals that have already been decided or are in progress, it might be seen as expedient to accompany a new definition of bedrooms with removal of the right to appeal over the number of bedrooms in situations where the new definition of bedroom would lead to the same decision.
    Last edited by Flymo; 02-10-2014 at 09:50 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member deebee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    I clicked on the link provide by dukedog and read all the way to the bottom, past the comments,where I found another link.
    I would post a link to this but I don,t know how.
    Anyway,it says that for bedroom tax purposes the room needs to be a double with 110 sq ft of floor space.

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