housing benefit

well what can i say. instead of worrying whether or not the mince pies turn out ok a letter from our landlords has droped onto the mat informing us that my wifes lift shaft [through floor lift] is in fact to be classed as a bedroom and as such under the governments new rules we will be over occupied and will have to find the shortfall. from where we have no idea thanks for the added stress just what we needed

i think your landlord is trying to con you, as far as i know a lift cannot be classed as a bedroom as its a living aid, is it a private landlord?

Don’t know anything about the law on this, but got to agree with Vicki. A lift shaft cannot possibly be classed as “habitable” - you couldn’t billet a person in there, so how could they deem that you have a “spare” room? It does seem that someone is either taking the mick, or has incompetently applied the rules. Seek advice! (CAB?)


its against the law to class a lift as a bedroom, you cannot fit a bed in there or anything else apart from yourself, therefore the landlord is breaking the law by trying or getting money from you under false pretenses, so you can litterally tell the landlord to shove it unless they want to get prosecuted

sorry vicki just to clarify. the lift rises into what used to be our bedroom and aparantly still is acording to the local council. the dividing wall between my wifes bedroom has been partly removed to allow access for her wheelchair between the two rooms it is as i say a council property, i will stop whinging as soon as i calm down but this judgment is after someone came and inspected the house. makes you wonder what they put on the form

I’ve just been doing some checking. It seems the new law does not define what is, or is not “a bedroom”. But it seems reasonable to assume that, as a minimum, you would have to be able to get a bed in there!

It may be that, on paper, looking at square footage alone, and without consideration of what it’s ACTUALLY being used for, there appears to be an extra bedroom. I expect it was once…

So it’s possible the council has made the determination without knowing the room has ever been converted.

But I’d certainly not give anything extra to the landlord, without first checking whether the council really does intend to cut HB - and appealing that decision, if necessary. Surely any changes to HB should be notified directly to the tenant, not via their landlord?



Our posts have crossed. Your clarification covers that they are considering things as they used to be, and not as they are now. They may literally have just looked on a database, and seen how many rooms the property was originally registered as having…

There is a possible exemption if someone in the house sometimes needs an overnight carer, even if not permanently. If the council won’t budge on the bedroom classification, you might be able to get round it by arguing your wife SOMETIMES needs a carer to stay overnight (e.g. to give you a break), or that it is highly likely this will become necessary in future.


Hi John, just spoke to my wife about this she works in housing benefits, to get exemption the care has to be 24/7 as far as the regs are concerned at the minute. There are DHP payments that can be applied for to cover the shortfall and also if the property has been adapted to suit your disabled needs that would need to be looked into, appears that this is still a grey area as the Local Authorities have still not been given all the data. It is a minefield at the minute and apparently council tax benefit is also changing every authority has to set their own critieria and make a saving. At my wifes council everyone will have to pay at least 20 per cent the only exemptions being the elderly. I would get your property checked though as if the bedrooms usuage has been changed can it still be classed as a bedroom would it be practical for someone to use it as a bedroom or it is purely assess now? Hope you get this resolved sooner rather than later as if you have not got enough to worry about.



many thanks everyone ive just finished emailing our liberal mp telling him what i think i will let you know what if anything he has to say