Very quick and simple post here which shows that a housing association – a claimed SOCIAL landlord no less – is saying a room with an overall dimension of just 24.19 square feet is a BEDROOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
NB – Regardless of the date this is no April Fool from me.
Yesterday I put out a post saying the Upper Tribunal has decided that a room to be a bedroom needs to be at least 65.81 square feet in order to be correctly and lawfully classified as a bedroom for bedroom tax purposes.
Today in the comments underneath that post I have cut and pasted one of the responses as it says that a housing association landlord – as yet not named but please please please do tell me which one !! – is saying that a room measuring 24.19 square feet is a bedroom!
Either this tenant (skinttenant) is lying through their teeth or; is not and afraid to name the alleged housing association landlord; or this housing association is a complete and utter bastard who deserves to be named and shamed and repeatedly named and shamed from the highest rooftops in the land!
If “skinttenant” wishes to email me (email@example.com) or wishes to directly message me on Twitter wish the name of the landlord and perhaps a photograph or two of the room – that could never be bedroom in a million years – then I will gladly name and shame that housing association and its chief executive and with no holding back.
The measurements given of 79 inches by 40 inches and 27 x 12 gives an overall dimension of 3160 + 324 square inches which is the 24.19 square feet figure. Given that a standard sized adult single bed is 78.75 inches in length and 35.75 inches in width, it can be squeezed in with three-quarters of one inch to spare in length and it has a gap of 4.25 inches between the bed and the wall. It also means that this room must have either (a) no door, or (b) an outwardly opening door; or (c) a sliding door.
If it has no door it does not even conform to any definition of ‘room’ let alone bedroom as a room is a space surrounded by walls AND a door.
Yet what this room reminds me of most is that this is precisely what Iain Duncan Smith argued in the Nelson UT case – that a single bed surrounded by walls is a bedroom – and here is what the Upper Tribunal said about that at paragraph 33:
“…the argument advanced by the Secretary of State before us that any room will be a bedroom for the purposes of the regulation if its floor space is big enough to accommodate a single bed (size not mentioned) even if all the sides of that bed would touch a wall or an outward opening door is absurd.”
At least that is what the written judgment says. When the barrister proposed that argument at the UT hearing on behalf of Iain Duncan Smith the actual verbal response from the Upper Tribunal judges was….
“What planet are you living on?!”
I have no idea if ‘skinttenant’ has the bedroom tax applied although it appears not and the direct answer to the question asked of does this apply to general rents is no – this only applies to a bedroom for bedroom tax purposes. However, that said, I am sure that housing lawyers would have a field day with the homeless department of the council involved who have said that the property is suitable if the tenant has a two bed need and if this is the case that council would be chased out of any court for saying a room of this size is a bedroom and the property is “suitable” in Housing Act 1996 terms.
I am also sure that this tenant has other redress via the council by having the room assessed and it would be decided that such a room (assuming it has a door) would not be classed as a bedroom and that the payment of rent for such a claimed 2 bedroomed property can be similarly laughed out of any court in the land.
Quite frankly “skinttenant” whoever you are – IF the details you have provided are correct – then the chief executive of this housing association deserves to be sacked with immediate effect and you have plenty of redress against this alleged social landlord who puts Rachmann to shame.
As a footnote I am minded that in early 2013 just after the bedroom tax started I asked for and sought out the smallest room claimed by a social landlord to be a bedroom. I found one such property of Whitefriars Housing in Coventry that measured 34.98 feet in overall dimension and have a quick look at that claimed ‘bedroom’ on the you tube link here and then realise that the room size stated above by “skinttenant” is almost 11 square feet smaller than that!!
Of course dear reader, if you have a room you think is smaller than any of the above then please send me the name of your (ahem!) social landlord together with a picture or two and I will gladly expose them here while giving you full and complete anonymity