The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has successfully overturned a tribunal ruling which exempted two brothers from the government’s hated ‘bedroom tax’.

Brothers James and David Nelson were granted exemption from the controversial policy at a first-tier social security tribunal last year, on the grounds that a spare room in their social home was too small to be considered a bedroom.

The Housing Act states that a room must be larger than 70 square feet to be of a sufficient enough size for an adult to occupy.

However, the DWP appealed against the first-tier tribunal’s decision to the upper tribunal, who ruled on 26 November that room size definitions in the Housing Act are not relevant to ‘bedroom tax’, or under-occupation penalty legislation.

Giles Peaker, partner at Anthony Gold Solicitors, told Inside Housing that ‘room size’ was the most common reason used for appealing against the ‘bedroom tax’.

Writing on his blog, Mr Peaker said the upper tribunal ruling means “any appeal based solely on the Housing Act room size figures will not succeed”, but room size could still be used in a ‘bedroom tax’ appeal alongside other factors – including lighting, ventilation, windows and height.

Households occupying a social home deemed to be larger than their needs are required to downsize to a smaller property, or contribute toward their rent through a deduction in Housing Benefit entitlement.

A national shortage of one and two-bedroom social homes means large numbers of affected households cannot downsize.

Unable to find a smaller home, tenants are trapped into paying ‘bedroom tax’ – whether they can afford to or not – or risk potential eviction.

Labour, UKIP and the Green Party have all pledged to scrap the ‘bedroom tax’ if they win an outright majority in the 2015 general election, while the Liberal Democrats say the policy should only apply to people who refuse an offer of a smaller property.

‘Bedroom tax’ has been effectively banished from Scotland, after the Scottish Government pledged to use Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs), and additional funding, to cover rent charges on behalf of affected households.



  1. The judgement did mean though (I understand) that all taxed ‘bedrooms’ have to be inspected by the council doing the taxing. If they aren’t, then any decision made is suspect and a review on the basis there’s been an error in law can be applied for, there being no time limit for this unlike an appeal. If everyone asks for their property to be individually inspected by their council, and lawfully they should do if it doesn’t automatically happen, the costs will make assessing the bedroom tax unfeasible. So, everyone that’s ever had an assessment for or against them should apply for a review on the grounds their property wasn’t inspected by the council. The views of the landlord on how many bedrooms a property might have are entirely irrelevant in law.

  2. From the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 25 part 1.
    (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

    Osborne & Ian Duncan Smith are breaking the law so should be prosecuted & stripped of all their wealth to compensate all those who lives have been ruined. Then see how they survive as homeless people.

  3. We need a Revolution and to ditch peaceful protest and become like the leftist in Spain and turn militant on the Regime who keeps attacking them thru the Police and policy, its time we grew balls, elections won’t change anything Labour have promised austerity and they have promised privatisation of the NHS from 2016 onwards, also, whats the point in voting another Neo Liberal Capitalist Party in, lets face it UKIP, Greens won’t get in period. Plus voting in these elections will NOT give redress to those dead in the genocide at IDS and Co hands, its time we raised up said to hell with the elections stopped them thru direct action and then change the entire system, the entire economy and bring in Socialist economics with Direct Democracy were all people who are able too should go to town halls and discuss matters twice weekly on the local issues and main issues at the Peoples Congress, vote on laws directly and have no more inherently corrupt representative(thats not representative at all).The people should elect a Spokesperson to go to the Peoples’ Committee whose job will be to speak based on the decisions of the people and who can be fired at any time and replaced without notice, We need a People’s Committee that implements the idea’s of the people only and does not dictate to the people based on manifesto the Party has, the Dictatorship of the Party must end. we need truly bottom up politics with the People’s State of the Masses., as a Disabled person and Veteran in the Armed Forces, im prepared to die, to be jailed and to be injured more serious, that is the least I can do for the 86,000 dead, for the 90,000 homeless children, for the 250,000 homeless families nationwide and for the 900,000 families unable to feed themselves using food banks for just 3 parcels yearly.

  4. Does make things more difficult, i think if ya have small reoom that also a study tho, maybe dining room too ya got a chance

  5. So we are changing laws to suit our policies now are we Maybe you need to go to hell on a hand cart

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