A bedroom tax appeal has been won

  • One of the first tribunal appeals against bedroom tax has been won.

    Annie Harrower-Gray has had her appeal against Fife Council's decision to cut her benefits upheld by a first-tier tribunal in Scotland, reports Inside Housing.

    Fife Council cut Ms Harrower-Gray's benefit, claiming she is living alone in a three bedroom property; however the tribunal found that the property only had one bedroom.  When looking at the rooms in the property, which dates from 1660, the tribunal found that one of the rooms had a ‘long established use... as a sitting room' and not as a bedroom. It was also said that the other room showed no evidence of having ever been intended for use as a bedroom. The final room, described as Ms Harrower-Gray's solicitor as a ‘horrible dark space' due to its irregular ‘l' shape with low combed ceiling and ‘recessed dormer window' was found to never have any intention of being a bedroom.

    Whilst Ms Harrower-Gray's case was successful, first-tier tribunal decisions do not set a legal precedent and will not have a direct impact on any other cases. Policy and practise officer at the Chartered Insitute of Housing, Sam Lister, has played down the rulings significance saying that it is limited to the facts of the individual case. Councils will not have to visit every property to ensure landlords' descriptions of property sizes are accurate.

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