Bedroom Tax: North West couple win legal battle

Written by: Keoghs Solicitors

Date: 25th April 2014

A North West couple have successfully launched a court battle against the spare room subsidy otherwise known as the bedroom tax after the Judge ruled that it breached their human rights.

The couple, who live in a two bedroomed flat, have to sleep in separate bedrooms as the female plaintiff suffers from spina bifida; a fault in the development of the spine and spinal cord which leaves a gap in the spine.  She therefore spends a significant amount of time in bed and requires a specially made electronic mattress which helps to alleviate bed sores.  This unfortunately means that the couple cannot physically share a bed or a bedroom.

However, they were deemed as having a ‘spare bedroom’ and as such, were made to pay an additional £56 per month.

They subsequently decided to take their local council to court.  The Judge concluded that because of the female appellants condition that: “The appellant is entitled to two bedrooms under the provision of the Human Rights Act and no under occupancy reduction of 14{976169db6f22d9550bd58349ed6caacdc3c11799e572ef8ddb13772e22ce1187} should be made on his benefit entitlement.”

This ruling may now allow an estimated 420,000 other disabled people across the UK, to challenge the spare room subsidy.

The Department for Work and Pensions and the local Council may appeal the decision.

If you or someone you know is in a similar position to the couple highlighted in this article, then our team of housing experts are here to help and offer advice on launching an appeal or a legal fight to be exempt from the bedroom tax.  Please contact us today.