There’s loads of info floating around the Bedroom Tax (or ‘under-occupancy charge’, the ‘size limit rules charge’ or ‘spare room subsidy’), so we’ve broken it down into seven things that you could do avoid it in Wales.
1. Ask for a revision
A revision is where you ask your local council to look again at their decision. This will be done by a different person and will take on board any extra info you have provided.
You’ve got to do this within a month of the date on the decision letter. If it’s been longer than a month you can ask for a supersession – Shelter Cymru have a toolkit that explains how you can ask for a revision or a supersession (Word document download).
If the revision doesn’t go your way, you can appeal. Again you’ve got a month to do this (or it’s supersession time) and again you can use Shelter Cymru’s toolkit (Word document download). There have been many successful appeals.
3. Appeal Again
If you don’t win first time you can challenge this decision in a higher court… but so can the Department of Work & Pensions if you won the first time round – and it seems they often win this appeal. Shelter Cymru has loads of useful info on appealing.
Photo Credit (Image not altered): Miroslav Petrasko via Flickr
4. “We are house mates!”
The rules state that you can only claim one bedroom for a couple…but if things haven’t worked out, you’ve separated but still living under the same roof then you could claim for another bedroom – as long as you’re not still sharing one!
Photo Credit (Image not altered): Staff Sgt. Brett Miller via Flickr
5. Join the army
You can claim an extra room for a member of the armed forces who is serving away, providing they intend to return to your home.
Photo Credit (Image not altered): Brandon O’Connor via Flickr
6. Get a lodger
If you and your landlord are happy about this, you can sub-let the room which will see it being used and provide extra income. See here for info on lodgers.
Photo Credit: pixar-planet.fr
Some of these tips may be more useful than others but check out Shelter Cymru’s Bedroom Tax article and related pages and bear in mind that you can apply for discretionary housing payments if you’re struggling.
Please comment below if you have any tips on avoiding the Bedroom Tax…
The Supporting People programme provides housing-related support to help people in Wales to live as independently as possible, find details about Supporting People in your area here or talk to your local Family Information Service.
For more housing info check the housing section on Local Information & Useful Links on your local county page on FamilyPoint.