How to appeal and strangle the bedroom tax – 5 minutes (and you’re almost there!)

Dear tenant have you got 5 minutes?  If so you can launch an appeal against the bedroom tax.  Yes I did say 5 minutes as that it all it takes.  Here’s how:

  • Step one – Print off the two pages of a GL24 form below
  • Step two – Complete
  • Step three – hand into your council (not your landlord) and get a receipt

You have launched an appeal its that easy

Step 1 – The standard GL24 form

Page 1 – Insert your name and usual details

gl24p1

  • Section 1 – Your name
  • Section 2 – leave blank
  • Section 3 – leave blank
  • Section 4 – put in “HOUSING BENEFIT” and put in March 2013 for date

Page 2 of the GL24 form

gl24p2

  • Section 5 – read
  • Section 6 – sign and date
  • Section 7 – read
  • Section 8 – a short sentence for each reason you are appealing (see below)

Section 8 is where you say why you are appealing and why you are appealing now nearly a year after the bedroom tax decision was made.

Why are you appealing now?  You could write sentence one here with something as simple as:

“I have only recently became aware of my right to appeal and my reasons below have substantial merit.”

Then state why you are appealing, the reasons for your appeal and a simple sentence for each will suffice at this time.  So if you are appealing that the alleged ‘bedroom’ is too small and is a boxroom you could say: -

I dispute a room can be called a ‘bedroom’ as it measures only 8ft x 6 ft in size

Yes it is that simple reader.  You could elaborate if you wish to say and I could not rent this out lawfully to a lodger or some other reasons yet it is not needed at this stage. The full detail you can provide when you get to the tribunal.  Here it is enough to outline your reasons in the simplest form which the short sentence above does.

If you are appealing the bedroom tax decision on room usage you could write something as simple as: -

I dispute a room is a bedroom as it is has always been used and furnished as a dining room and the council has merely assumed this is a ‘bedroom” applied the bedroom tax in error.

So reader if you are appealing on room size and room usage you write in Section 8 the following:

“I have only recently became aware of my right to appeal and my reasons below have substantial merit. I dispute a room can be called a ‘bedroom’ as it measures only 8ft x 6 ft in size. I dispute a room is a bedroom as it is has always been used and furnished as a dining room and the council has merely assumed this is a ‘bedroom” applied the bedroom tax in error.

Yes that’s it you have completed the form it is that simple so move onto Step 3 and submit this form to your council and not to your landlord and you have launched an appeal.

NOTES

Recently some landlords have started to draft template letters for the tenant to appeal and they over elaborate each and every point and there is no need to give chapter and verse at this stage.

These letters also tens to begin with ‘wishy-washy’ language such as I wish to appeal or I want to appeal or I request an appeal.  Take no notice or heed or such language.  It is not impolite and it is correct to say YOU ARE appealing and to be definitive and unambiguous.  An appeal is your right not something you have to request.

What happens next?

Your council will refer the matter to the tribunal service who will send you a form to fill out in the near future. You complete this making sure you ask for an oral hearing and return it and then wait for your tribunal date for which you will be given at least 14 days notice and often longer.

In the meantime look at the judgments here for successful appeals on each issue (eg room size) and begin to write more detailed reasons on this or in other words copy what has worked! I will update this page with new successful judgments as they emerge too so make a note of the page which I also include a link to at the bottom of this page.

Comment

5 minutes and you’re almost there was a song by the Stranglers and to continue that theme so was “Something better change” and this will have to apply to the landlord in supporting the tenant to appeal as they will soon realise the huge invest-to-save rationale.

The average bedroom tax in a year is now £760 and so if they spend or invest £76 in helping the tenant to appeal they will get £760 more in HB payments each year and investing £1 save then £10 in simple terms. It is nowhere near enough for landlords to draft standard letters to get tenants into the appeal system which they are attempting through elaborate 1 page letters for each issue.  The above simplified process gets the tenant into the appeal system and takes 5 minutes as I have explained.

An appeal needs the raucous beat and lyrics of Something Better Change yet landlords support is all white lace and promises and they have only just begun and the Carpenters just wont do reader! Sorry I’m digressing let’s get back on topic.

The real key to a successful appeal is the detailed arguments and what I have been doing for the past year that has led to a huge success rate in appeals.  So ahead of your tribunal date you issue a further submission which for room size for example says why the Housing Acts of 1985, 1988 and 2004 all support the room size argument as well as other issues.  The same in-depth arguments on room usage and human rights and a room being fit for purpose as a bedroom all need the same in-depth argument and submitted to the tribunal ahead of the case being heard.

Yet the detailed arguments on each issue can wait.  Right now the tenant needs first and foremost to get into the system and within the 13 month time limit that the tenant has as their right.  So if your bedroom tax decision was made 5 March 2013 then you need to submit the GL24 form above by 4 April and yes the deadline is looming.

Note too if you win that all the bedroom tax that has been deducted from the beginning is paid back and all the way to 1 April 2013.  It also means you will not have the bedroom tax deducted from your HB payments this year too as if the tribunal rules you have 2 bedrooms and not 3 bedrooms then this is a permanent decision.  Note very well as this post is titled says it takes 5 minutes of your time to appeal and to get into the appeal system…5 minutes and you’re almost there reader!

If a large number of tenants appeal, as you should, then your landlord will have to change and will have to begin to support the tenant to appeal as they should have done from the beginning

_______________________________________________________

Yesterday I revealed that Liverpool City Council have shown their usual incompetence and misread the rules over the pre 1996 exempt issue.  They wrongly maintain that ONLY if you succeeded your tenancy from your husband / wife / partner that you can be exempt when in fact any member of the household can inherit the tenancy and still qualify – so if you inherited your home from your mum or dad or grandmother you can still qualify.

Given the time left to appeal and also the time it will take for Liverpool (and other) councils to admit this latest cock up then go straight to appeal using the same GL24 form above.  In section 8 simply say: -

I maintain the council has misread regulations and I do qualify for the pre-1996 exemption as I inherited the tenancy from my…” then insert mother / father / grandmother or whatever the fact is.

Successful bedroom tax appeals to date is here and there are at least 6 more to add to this and it will be continuously updated.  Good luck reader and my apologies for putting the Carpenters in your head go listen to the Stranglers!!

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37 thoughts on “How to appeal and strangle the bedroom tax – 5 minutes (and you’re almost there!)

  1. royboxer March 13, 2014 at 10:31 am Reply

    Joe you don’t even need a gl24, when people come here we tell them to use a blank piece of paper. They are too tight to get GL24.

  2. elle j morgan (@j_bradbury0630) March 13, 2014 at 10:59 am Reply

    This is great, thank you, I’m going to do it, but don’t have a printer, can you tell me where these forms are held so I can pick one up..
    I’m so sick of this tax, it’s getting me down, I’ve never used the room as a bedroom as my eldest doesn’t live with me due to her special needs, yet I’m being punished for this..

    • joehalewood March 13, 2014 at 12:58 pm Reply

      Ask someone to print them out for you as they appear to be only online

      • Alison Godwin March 23, 2014 at 3:07 pm

        My local council is my landlord and as such have told me that as I signed a contract to state I was taking on a 3 bedroom property that this is exactly what I have and that the size of one of my rooms is irrelevant. What now?

      • joehalewood March 23, 2014 at 4:52 pm

        Say thank you for your opinion but I would rather have a Tribunal judge decide. Oh and please get your landlords opinion in writing as Im sure the judge will be more than happy to have a look at this!

  3. Mike Sivier March 13, 2014 at 12:32 pm Reply

    Reblogged this on Vox Political.

  4. jonscone March 13, 2014 at 1:03 pm Reply

    Joe, great to make the form accessible for all your readers! Is it worth doing a second appeal for this financial yers, or would it be best to wait for a decision on the current appeal.

  5. thelovelywibblywobblyoldlady March 13, 2014 at 1:29 pm Reply

    Reblogged this on glynismillward189.

  6. Dougie McPherson March 13, 2014 at 2:43 pm Reply

    Joe
    Both reasons for our two rooms refused and suggested I reapply for DHP what now ??
    Dougie https://www.facebook.com/groups/btukhomeswapnetwork
    The original FB group on Bedroom Tax still advising daily :)

    • Jonathan Wilson March 13, 2014 at 5:00 pm Reply

      Was that “the council/housing association says no” or at tribunal? I think a lot of people are getting confused by what the council says and taking it as gospel that the refusla is part of the appeal process… its not!

      In simple terms, what the council/social housing provider/Housing benefit department says is meaningless, in fact less that useless if truth be known, by all means ask them to reconsider based on previous FT/UT tribunal results but also state that you _ARE_ appealing via the tribunal service and put your tribunal service appeal in at the same time.

      The important thing is…. the tribunal is not the council, do not be fobbed off by the council, put your appeal into the tribunal service and sod what the council says.

      • Dougie McPherson March 13, 2014 at 6:01 pm

        Jonathan Wilson – are you comments above aimed at moi buddy ?

    • nosparerooms March 14, 2014 at 5:19 am Reply

      @ Dougie. I live in Scotland too (Argyll). I wrote a letter adapted from Joe’s template one to my local councils head office asking them to review the Housing Benefit decision from 20th march 2013 and they replied the standard reply “We have been advised by your landlord that you have 3 bedrooms in the property” and that if I was disputing the number of bedrooms in the property they suggested I should take it up with my landlord. They also enclosed another form to apply for DHP. This was NOT a rejection of appeal, just them saying they had reviewed the original decision and considered it to be correct. I phoned up their head office and I said I wished to therefore appeal against the decision and I wished an appeal form, or GL24. They originally didn’t seem to know what I was talking about and then they said they would get my local office to send me out an appeal form (the only one they said they had) which I filled in with the same reasons as before, adding the part in one of Joes other posts where he renders each of the three arguments against our appeal invalid (or as Joe puts it “a crock”, but of course I just put INVALID in capitals and underlined it. In fact I filled in the whole form in capitals, handwritten, and I sent it off by first class recorded delivery to the councils head office. The appeal form I received seems to be tailored to Argyll & Bute Council and there is a booklet to accompany it, explaining what happens once I appeal and the following processes. I would urge you to put in a proper appeal as soon as possible as my original decision was on 20th March and it is possible yours was similarly early and the thirteen months will soon be up. You should be able to actually pick up a form from your local council office which will save time.

      • nosparerooms March 14, 2014 at 5:50 am

        PS Here is what I actually added in my formal appeal to my repetition of what I had previously stated (yes, I photocopied it) (I put on the envelope in which I sent it that it was for Housing Benefits Appeals in case they “accidentally” put it through to the wrong department in order to play for time as they know our time is running out.)

        THREE ARGUMENTS FOR MAINTAINING THAT I HAVE 3 BEDROOMS HAVE BEEN PROVED VIA OTHER SUCCESSFUL CASES TO BE INVALID:

        1) “THAT YOU SIGNED FOR A 3 BED SO ITS A 3 BED” – INVALID AS IT IS THE FACTS OF THE CASE AND THE TIME AT WHICH THE DECISION WAS MADE THAT MATTER.

        2) “THE DEPARTMENT OF WORK AND PENSIONS TOLD US THAT THE NUMBER OF BEDROOMS IS WHATEVER THE TENANCY AGREEMENT SAYS AND THAT IT IS UP TO THE LANDLORD TO SAY HOW MANY BEDROOMS THE PROPERTY HAS” – INVALID AS IN ALL PREVIOUS SUCCESSFUL APPEAL CASES THE NUMBER OF BEDROOMS IS A MATTER OF FACT AND NOT WHAT IT SAYS ON THE TENANCY AGREEMENT.

        3) “IF IT COULD BE A BEDROOM THEN IT IS A BEDROOM” – INVALID AS THE BOLTON UPPER TRIBUNAL CASE (CH0140/2013) REVEALS THAT: A ROOM IS WHAT IT IS USED FOR AS A MATTER OF FACT AND NOT THE ASSUMPTIVE AND LEGALLY UNRELIABLE STANCE WHICH YOU HAVE TAKEN IN YOUR DECISION.

  7. beastrabban March 13, 2014 at 3:37 pm Reply

    Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog.

  8. Editor March 13, 2014 at 5:58 pm Reply

    Reblogged this on kickingthecat.

  9. jaypot2012 March 13, 2014 at 5:59 pm Reply

    Reblogged this on Jay's Journal and commented:
    Remember to keep doing this and remember to pass it on!

  10. Dougie McPherson March 14, 2014 at 3:40 pm Reply

    No Spare Rooms
    Many thanks buddy/ess (not sure :) ) I will get that attended to today sadly our council offices are about 140ml return journey from my home at present that’s a non starter as just physically not fit enough to collect said form (Highland Council) but I shall check again what the letter (all 4 pages of it) actually states once again but I am positive ALL reasons were rejected I made it very clear like you with the use of CAPS that I would officially appeal if not successful but No appeal GL24 included in fact they suggested for the 3rd time I apply for DHP (form inclosed only it wasn’t ? ) but I immediately replied stating this and demanding said form be sent without delay earlier this week (still waiting for said DHP application form mind :) I have been successful in past two claims mind for FULL DHP payment) I shall of course get back onto them re GL24 claim form I usually e-mail anything I can to all offices thus surely this would constitute a paper trail before the 13mth period if necessary? other than this I I like you photocopy ALL applications I fill in (or have done for me prior to replying as you never know when that same info may be required, keeping all PO receipts etc and marking all received letters when they were received and when I then replied to whom and it anything was enclosed etc) I should point out that I initially completed a form supplied by HC to apply for room exception ?. just a printed sheet from them no idea if this was a GL24 in their eyes, I have dedicated years of my life to in any way possible helping others through this but have all but pulled out now due to daily differing worsening health and NOW find myself in the #%#% ain’t that always the way.
    Anyways many thanks for your assistance/advice for now :) :)

  11. nosparerooms March 14, 2014 at 8:36 pm Reply

    @ Dougie -Thanks for the reply. You are obviously a fighter, not just for yourself but for others, and I am sorry to hear about your worsening health.
    The reason why I do not think their reply was a rejection of a formal appeal is that with the Appeal Form itself I received the booklet entitled “How To Appeal Against A Decision on Your Housing or Council Tax Benefit. In it, it states “When we receive your appeal”…..”If we do not change the decision we will send your appeal, and an explanation of the law and the facts used to make the decision, to the Tribunal Service.”….”The Tribunal Service will send you a form. You must fill it in and send it to the Tribunal Service within 14 days of the date they send it to you. If you do not, your appeal will stop”. Obviously I have not received a reply to my formal appeal yet, but it is clear from this that if you actually have appealed and the appeal has been rejected then they have to refer it on, and you will receive the further form which they mention. Whether they have rejected one reason or more (or all), their letter is just a refusal to change their decision, and not a reply to a formal appeal.
    It is also clear from the booklet that the initial Formal Appeal HAS to reach them by the 13 month deadline. I did not know when that deadline was in my case, but the girl in their head office to whom I spoke when asking for the appeal form checked for me and said that my original HB decision had been on 20th March last year. It took them ages to find out which form I was requesting, which indicates to me that most of the staff are not too clear themselves about whether their rejection of reason(s) is the end of the matter ( but obviously they hope, wrongly, that it is).
    I did not apply for DHP, despite them and the housing association sending me forms for it, as I don’t agree with the bedroom tax itself in principle, and I intend to get back all that they have wrongly taken from me.
    I am so glad that at least, Dougie, you got DHP, and pray you receive more if you apply for it again. I also pray you keep on fighting, and that you still have enough fight left in you to reclaim all that has been fraudulently taken from you in the name of “rent” by those unspeakable human beings.

  12. Dougie McPherson March 15, 2014 at 12:35 am Reply

    No Spare Rooms
    Many thanks (still don’t know if your a buddy/ess) I used to be a fighter but I am afraid the fight has now left me, I took a massive pounding online just last week and that was it for me I keep an eye on my BT group but take NO part in it any longer as it’s getting very like it was way back at the start with folk not willing to listen, merely wanting to fight on any group they choose, then spreading lies, mistruths and made up garbage, thus it’s now have a catastrophic affect on my health which I am afraid I refuse to allow it to any longer I am now going to take it easy on my photography group from now on where at least I am appreciated and spoken to with respect etc (not that you haven’t btw)

    Ok so supposing and it looks highly likely that it wasn’t indeed the appeal I lodged? then what now just a simple e-mail demanding a GL24 (or equivalent) form without delay as I am taking this decision to appeal ?? is that really my best route? whilst meantime IF and when the DHP form arrives I simply apply for it again as a backup plan? (it’s apparently highly likely that since I have had DHP for the last year being that we are in a specifically built disabled property that they DON’T have thus can’t replace in a smaller version I.e in a one bed layout to suit out legal size of home required thus really they must keep paying DHP on this property they put us here with no real choices involved taking us from a much loved two bed to do so thus rising our DHP from 14% to 25% in the process so just how much in an appeal situation in truth would be on their side I am unsure in all honesty I am just now not positive which way to go, I mean the ballpark is changing almost daily on us? with many, many differing views, with few agreeing on very much now it’s really quite hard to know any longer.

    For my own sake I shall need to hurry mind I know my first application for DHP was lodged after the initial start date and backdated but I still must be getting close to the last date as in the 13 month cut off dates.

    Many thanks again appreciated :)

  13. nosparerooms March 15, 2014 at 4:22 am Reply

    Dougie – I am a buddyess – if that is a word. I cannot be bothered with destructive arguments online either – even reading them annoys me, and I try not to participate, although sometimes on The Void blog I find myself contributing to arguments out of a desire for fairness and honesty. I think you should “cover all bases” ie definitely get your formal appeal in before deadline, state the same reasons as you did before using Joes template argument as in letter but changing it to appeal instead of review, and not being too delicate, I AM APPEALING and THIS IS A FORMAL APPEAL instead of “I would like to appeal”, with Joe’s range of arguments as before to back you up (and adding the bit from his 3-point “crock” arguments substituting INVALID in the way that I did above would not do your appeal any harm either). There is nothing that says you cannot apply for DHP as well, and I think I read somewhere on Joe’s blogs that some councils do not even try to reclaim the DHP even if someone wins their appeal (although that is obviously up to individual councils; I believe Joe has also said that councils trying to reclaim DHP in the case of a successful appeal are on dodgy ground legally or words to that effect, in which case you might end up with both DHP and the refund of your bedroom tax.) It might be a good idea to phone them as well as e-mail them and ask when you will receive the Appeal Form. They might ignore the e-mail otherwise or be scratching their heads in a bewildered fashion when they read the e-mail as I imagined them doing when I asked on the phone for an Appeal Form against my Housing Benefit decision. You could check whether they could e-mail you the form and the guidelines booklet so that you could print the appeals form off and send it to them. Its probably better to send them the completed form by recorded delivery rather then just e-mailing it back to them from the point of view of proving that they received it, and they may only accept it by post anyway. On the other hand from their side they may have to just send you the form by post. You could ask if they would accept the one which Joe has made downloadable and printable if you were pushed for time re the deadline. Similarly with the DHP form, you could phone them and give them a bit of hassle in the politest possible way, say that you have been waiting and waiting etc. and can they e-mail you something you can just print off.
    Regarding the ballpark changing, you can trust Joe as his arguments are backed by successful appeals and the Upper Tribunal ones are especially significant. Also, an initial formal appeal costs you and I nothing, but costs the council a whopping £250 approx just to start with, which is a wonderful thought in itself. You don’t have to attend the hearing if it comes to a tribunal but they make the point in the booklet on advice on appeals that attending it gives you more of a chance to put your point or points across.
    You still sound as if you have fight in you Dougie, but fighting the council over this horrendous tax is better than fighting with others who say they have the same aims as you but perhaps do not, and just want to argue with and harass others.

    • Dougie McPherson March 15, 2014 at 5:34 am Reply

      No Spare Rooms
      My reference at the head of previous post re “Buddyess” was as to whether you were a “Buddy” as in a Male or a “Buddyess” as in a female? as I still don’t know !! that was all nowt to worry about :)
      As for the rest of advice I shall get my Secretary onto it later as I am now 3 day/nights sold awake and starting to fade! so hopefully I will sleep this time, thus I shall email my OH to get her to sort it out for me, pointing her to this blog for instruction!
      DHP in my case will NOT be able to be reclaimed IF it’s paying HB that is to top up my account, I have NEVER paid a single 1p of it nor do I intend to (I recall our very Tommy Sheridans Poll Tax cry of DON’T PAY, Do not show willing or able and by NOT doing so you can not and will not be claimed I never was not 1p of that did I pay either, as for your reclaim comments re DHP I can’t claim back monies I have not paid can I.
      Yours for now
      Dougie :)

      • nosparerooms March 15, 2014 at 2:45 pm

        Dougie, Yes I am a Buddyess, ie female, which was what I meant above (I was not querying what you meant, just adding a new word to my vocabulary). I am glad you are resolved to pursue your appeal and also claim any DHP which you are due. I hope you have sweet dreams which are free from the nightmare of IDS and Davey Boy/”Lord” Freud and Camoron and their minions. At least your OH is able to sort things out while you sleep.
        I wish you all the best with your appeal and your application for DHP, and will let you know how mine goes.

      • Dougie McPherson March 15, 2014 at 10:57 pm

        No Spare Rooms
        Yip I shall make sure all know what’s happening/or not as it’s happening/or not, I am hopefully tomorrow going to look at a private rent property in a far better area, where I will feel a lot safe and far more secure if nothing else, as we had a suberb beachfront property in NW Scotland with only ONE neighbor inside a mile around the properties, it also had the absolute best neighbors I have ever had or heard about in my entire 24 odd years as a SH tenant all in (sadly the Granny left this world rapidly totally unexpected so hopefully painlessly from a massive heart attack and is sadly missed by her OH and many others both of us included) this is the property that we were all but forced out of I.e given NO other choice really in reality other than this that we are currently in, don’t get me wrong the property is purpose built for wheelchair disabled tenants and is the Ritz compared to our OLD cottage in Morar, as this one has CH (oil) DG fully rated DG, it’s a massive three bed with a disabled suite at one end of the property which is an inverted H shape to make it a bit easier to understand in that I and my other half have the righthand side which has our main bedroom tahat has an full disabled en-suite off with showering and bathing facilities and finally a bath lift only just finally delivered (all be it 14 mths late, Suberb OT here :) ) and off our bedroom on the otherwise is a carers room with a sliding door separating our rooms (this is a double room that we pay BT on, but it’s clearly NOT apart from this entry it’s not to small in terms of 70sq ft min but it’s shape doors cupboards (inbuilt) and windows or radiators would make it pretty impossible to be use as much more than a P/T carers room or a babies room possibly (again according to our HA – LA it’s a fully fledged double room which it’s just NOT) then out into the main hall, and entry into the rest of the building I have my desk with my main computer and a chair etc and plenty of room around it for my wheelchair in fact my scooter to move around in? then on the left moving further down the hallway is the family bathroom with a full bath and electric power shower (we installed for my OH as we have his and her bathrooms :) ) in still more on the right now is the other full double bedroom just large enough for a standard double bed in but useable as it has a fitted wardrobe in line with all other rooms in the property, and lastly through the door facing you at the end of the hallway which leads through to a massive lounge, dining/room and open planned kitchen with access to our carport and car parking area from kitchen – it has a massive Fr/R garden a large mono blocked driveway and a storage/charging shed forva scooter at the front door and that’s about it, the property sits about in the middle of an almost new estate (about 5 yr old now I think this year) with 60 odd homes (VERY close by as new estates tend to be) we have 60 odd homes and 40 odd primary school kids with NO where to go other than a soaking wet field behind our home? a play park designed to be directly behind a disabled home? it’s all a total joke as to where the property is, how little privacy in many ways I get in terms of having to try to sleep when I can which can be day or nighttime I mean next doors trampoline is literally diagonally around 10th from the headboard of my bed ??…… Then next door on the otherside is a car salesman P/T although he denies it 18 cars and rising in the time we have been here (a little over a year) both myself and all others have had just the one, we suffer from football and kids playing right at our front and rear gates, we were forced to fence and gate in the front to stop them running through it :) (day & night) all minor you may say BUT when you add it all together it’s actually pretty large, and ONLY repeating previous issues which had I of nipped in the bud then may not of led to us being here a full 125 mls or so away from all friends family and lifelong assistance but we were willing to do it then at the start Pre Morar why? we were fleeing three full years of severe disabled hate issues that ended in me NOT being able to go out alone, with another HA unwilling to act so essentially we are again being to all intents fully ignored, we have had No financial help, NO physical help/assistance at all she personally packed, moved and unpacked EVERY item we own personally alone by herself, it’s a joke frankly if we had not of had my parents behind us I hate to think what we would of done all I do know is we are massively out of pocket, in a house (note not a home) that I neither wanted nor can realistically can’t exchange either (1 into 3 don’t work any way you what to look at it).
        Just exactly what we will end up doing I’m not yet sure but so far apart from end with me back in my bed 24/7 since we last moved from Morar (silversands of Morar) I know my OH is NOT willing to move anytime soon as she knows there is NO help anywhere financially or otherwise and it’s likely to all be left once again to her so can understand her reluctance I mean I have no less than 5 groups just to try to get an suitable exchange from this house covering all of Scotland’s coastal areas and islands alike and still after a year NOT one bite? it’s advertised everywhere I can be and again nothing ?? I refused no less than 70 odd similar offers to this for our home we left due to dis hate and severe ASB and now a few years down the line find ourselves in much the same position had we of taken one offered then ?. only 100 odd miles closer to friends possible sources of help and such like we have to say suffered over the past almost three years is NOT exaggeration it’s fact, we are fully bankrupt asi have to pay my father back several thousand in costs last time we moved from Morar to here as Morar was a two bed BUT a very small two bed where the hall say is 1/3rd of the size, the lounge is well over twice the size with almost twice the windows that are well larger than before so what I am saying is it all had to be replaced but we were given the 17th of Dec to move a few days before Christmas given NO rent overun in fact of this and were charged a weeks rent on Morar for being a few hours late returning the keys, die to delays trying to return the rented van!! All in all a horrible situation BUT I am NOT happy and want out, I need peace, quiet and so on if I don’t get out of here really soon I think I shall go mad, every month my anti depressants, pain relief, and sleeping tabs are getting upped to the state where I now take excessive amounts of opiate everyday 48 tabs in total everyday and pain patches on top of that.
        Anyway it’s as usual not as clean cut as it may at first appear.
        All the best
        Dougie

  14. […] How to appeal and strangle the bedroom tax – 5 minutes (and you’re almost there!) […]

  15. Dougie McPherson March 15, 2014 at 10:58 pm Reply

    Glad we sorted out what sex you are mind :)

  16. nosparerooms March 16, 2014 at 3:42 am Reply

    @ Dougie – All that you have been through and all that you are suffering sounds horrendous, and I can really only imagine what it must be like for you and your OH. I hope that one way or another you get assistance from one of the avenues of help and different options which you are pursuing. My housing association Fyne Homes say on their website they are not just about building houses and collecting rents, but I wrote directly in person to the Chief Executive Officer of the association asking him and urging him in no uncertain terms to support and encourage his tenants in their bedroom tax appeals, and stating what Joe has said on this blog, ie that the landlord also benefits from a successful appeal, and I did not even get the courtesy of a reply. Whenever I have phoned the housing association’s offices in the past all I get is the standard “nothing to do with us, just government policy” fobbing-off argument. Next doors trampoline near the headboard of your bed sounds ridiculously close and will be no joke when you hear them using it when you are trying to rest, and very unsettling as well as annoying.
    Wishing and praying for a reversal of fortune for you and your OH, and wishing and praying for successful outcome for all the bedroom tax appeals throughout the UK, including ours.

  17. […] Here is the link to my idiots guide to appealing complete with the official form – so simple even a HB officer could fill one in!! […]

  18. sonicfictionjourno March 20, 2014 at 5:30 pm Reply

    Put in my appeal form to LA on Monday and just got a call to arrange for an appointment to measure the room in question next Friday. I was wondering if Joe had any advice on what this and what should expect and say to the visiting Council worker?

    Thank you

    Liam

  19. Jessica Kelly April 2, 2014 at 5:47 pm Reply

    I had a long awaited visit to the citizens advice bureau today and they have told me that the gl24 form is no longer used or excepted it has changed to a different form. so my question is does anyone know what or where i might get this new form to challenge the Bedroom Tax? cab did not offer one just told me to make a list of bullet pointed reasons why i think i can challenge the decision in the first place.

    • joehalewood April 2, 2014 at 7:10 pm Reply

      Tell your CAB they are wrong because they are. The GL24 form IS still used and valid for HB appeals. It is no longer used for other welfare benefits which need to go through mandatory reconsideration (which does NOT apply to HB appeals). So explain that to your CAB and wait for their apology!

      • Jessica Kelly April 2, 2014 at 7:37 pm

        Thank you so much for that Joe, one other thing tried to go to your Facebook link to get your templates and it seems they are no longer available or expired.. is there another option i could use as I’m totally on my own with this so need all the help i can get, I didn’t find the cab very helpful at all, i got the impression from the advisor that i should just give up. She was not an expert with housing issues, just a benefits advisor, she just didn’t seem to know how to offer any help with what i went to see her for but she was ready to help with benefit checking….i won’t hold my breath for that apology from cab though.

        Many thanks

        Jessica

  20. Debbie Price April 3, 2014 at 7:47 am Reply

    Hi, Jessica Kelly. If you join the Facebook group, RECLAIM. You will find the help you need. (Joe is part of this group). And the GL24 form can also be downloaded from their page files. There are BT appeal groups on Facebook. With template letters. And, advice to help you through the appeal process.

  21. sonicfictionjourno April 3, 2014 at 3:48 pm Reply

    Hello Joe,

    Spoke to my local council today after being passed around council departments (Housing Benefit even said it wasn’t a benefits issue but a Housing issue) I spoke to a woman in the Housing department about whether the appeal had been referred to the Tribunal service. She told me that this isn’t what the council do and that its responsiblity to do it. I don’t believe as I read this post a few weeks ago and remember what you’d wrote. Was she wrong and what can I/they do now to get the appeal to Tribunal?

  22. ponchorat1968 July 31, 2014 at 3:59 pm Reply

    I wrote my first appeal against the bedroom tax and got a pathetic reply.
    They just blabber on about discretionary housing payments and that I should apply for that.
    Seems they are either stupid or are avoiding the question.

    What should I send to them next to wake them up!

  23. Dougie McPherson July 31, 2014 at 5:12 pm Reply

    Ponchorat1968 – I would truthfully go for both I.e. “Stupid” and avoiding the question, the sad facts are that many are I’ll-advised themselves through insufficient training and leadership, by in large whilst there are some academic qualifications in this line of work, it’s not necessity or a requirement in many HAs or LAs for the worker to hold any of these course exams to be able to work with-in the sector, all to often we the tenants know more, before and more in-depth than any HO or Cab and particularly CAB having had their funding for such removed have NO incentives to advise now, as you state want a benefits enquiry and it’s no problem, Why! that’s simple all the answers are in black and white online 24/7 on gov.org and other sites, where as BT and DHP or BT appeals etc are NOT and all differ, significantly leaving said “advisors” (I use that term widely btw) bewildered and well out their depths, has you wondering however surely IF and it’s not really an if it’s a WHY? when, many FB groups can manage to gain the correct info 24/7 either here on Reclaim as was suggested above I think, or on my own page/s “Bedroom Tax Chat” (the original BT page on Facebook, still advising years later, advice, info, & guidance always available http://www.facebook.com/btukhomeswapnetwork but the largest part of advice to take from all this, is Don’t hands down religiously trust what Cab tells you as by in large the levels of service in a great many offices is NOT what we have come to expect from them, and always check what your being told, before acting upon any advice offered would be what I was telling anyone in your situation (Note – DHPs are NOT being used correctly IT IS NOT the saviour the Gov and others have made it out to be, and most certainly IS NOT being dished out to “ALL those who can not pay BT” as is being suggested, when the truth is more like many LAs are returning the cash to cent Gov as unused?? as they seem to be sticking to the guidance in their own guidance doc for it’s use where it’s suggested that DHPs be used for “disabled tenants, where that tenant could not easily be moved, if at all” which seems to be what they are so doing, given that I am a wheelchair dependent tenant whose health is worsening all the time, and I have managed to get full payment of DHP covering me from start to date, and going forward until Sept next year?? the ONLY way around this is as Joe and others state, to officially appeal the decisions until they get to the upper tribunals if needs must until resolution is found ………. If it can be as it seems that it’s as feared NOT going away anytime soon that’s seems self evident, and even with a change in Gov it’s doubtful with many parties now withdrawing from such undertaking !! I wish you well but suggest that you go back to the start and follow Joes route from the start whether it’s repeating what you have already done or not, ensuring each step is adequately completed and receipts are obtained for all steps taken or forms submitted ..

  24. Naomi Stewart August 21, 2014 at 5:59 pm Reply

    Forgive me for not doing my research but I reading allot of points about the 13 month deadline? is it not possible to appeal the bedroom tax after this time period?

    • joehalewood August 22, 2014 at 8:34 am Reply

      The bedroom tax original decisions in 2013 were superseded by new decision in April 2014 and will be in April 2015 etc. Hence an appeal today or anytime up to end of April 2015 is against the latest decision (2014)

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