Stifle that yawn reader as this is not just another bedroom tax appeal win on room size; note the judges reasons and note them well!
“… DWP GUIDANCE in relation to HMO’s indicates that the Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS) applies to ALL RESIDENTIAL PREMISES and not HMO’s alone.”
The Housing Act 2004 contains the HHSRS and for further detail see my blog from November last year on this here and to my knowledge this is the first time a FTT judge has ruled in accordance with it and that these minimum bedroom floor sizes apply to ALL properties not just houses in multiple occupation (HMO).
Judge McMahon is also saying that the DWP cannot have their cake and eat it as it is THEIR HMO guidance that the HHSRS applies universally and not just to houses in multiple occupation. In effect the judge is saying the DWP is being duplicitous in trying to have it both ways.
The judge then goes on in the final point 6 to really hammer the point home by saying that the Respondent’s, that is local councils who made the bedroom tax decisions, are not entitled with their duty for housing safety to ignore legislation and focus on just HB regulation as they ALL have done and claimed they were right to do….as this is also in other DWP guidance.
The minimum room size issues found in legislation DO ‘read across’ in housing benefit regulations and not just the 1985 Housing Act as was used in the Fife cases but the 2004 Housing Act too.
I will leave it short and sweet reader.