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Landmark legal ruling gives tenants hope on housing

Tenants launched a fresh wave of appeals against the Tory bedroom tax

Tenants will today launch a fresh wave of appeals against the Tory bedroom tax after a judge issued a landmark ruling that redefines the legal definition of a bedroom. 
 
Judge O'Hara overturned the 14 per cent housing benefit cut imposed on a Rochdale man living in a two "bedroom" flat at a tribunal hearing last month. 
 
The man argued that he used one the "bedrooms" as a dining room and the judge upheld his appeal on the basis the dictionary definition of a bedroom is a "room containing a bed” or "used for sleeping."
 
After viewing a recorded tour of the flat, the judge ruled that there was "insufficient room" for a dining table in either joined kitchen and living area. 
 
Now campaigners are preparing to submit hundreds of appeals that could force local authorities to conduct time consuming inspections and bring down the bedroom tax. 
 
A Cardiff man living with one child in a three bedroom property will be among the first. 
 
His child has autism and the "spare" bedroom is used a scensory exploration room, according to Jamie Insole of Cardiff and South Wales Against the Bedroom Tax.
 
"The Rochdale ruling proves that this wicked policy will be lucky to see out 2014," Mr Insole told the Star. 
 
Housing consultant Joe Halewood explained on his blog that the ruling bedroom tax decision to be challenged through judicial review in "a very simple and cost-efficient way."
 
He wrote: "Such a judicial review challenge will mortally wound the bedroom tax policy and get rid of it once and for all."

 

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