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Disabled man wins bedroom tax appeal

31 January 2014

A disabled man and his wife have won an appeal against the bedroom tax on human rights grounds.

The couple live alone in three bedroom Local Authority property. The appeal tribunal accepted that they needed separate bedrooms and that it was discrimination under Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights to fail to treat Housing Benefit Claimants, who need an additional bedroom on account of disability, differently from those who do not need an additional bedroom.

The tribunal also found that the property was only a two bedroom property because the third bedroom measured 7' 1" x 9' 6" (63.3 square feet) and was too small to be occupied by an adult as a bedroom on a full time basis.

In applying the bedroom tax in this case the Local Authority breached Article 1, Protocol 1, European Convention of Human Rights, which provides a right not be deprived of possessions, and Housing Benefit is a possession for these purposes.

For more on the Human Rights Act see Factsheet F1 - human rights act

As a result of this decision the bedroom tax does not apply.

The DWP has been monitoring bedroom tax appeal decisions and has announced its intention to take two earlier decisions in Fife to the upper tribunal.

Nearly Legal have a regularly updated page of bedroom tax appeal decisions at http://nearlylegal.co.uk/blog/bedroom-tax-ftt-decisions/

For more on the bedroom tax see Factsheet F57 - the bedroom tax.