This post originally appeared on the blog of our friends at Combat the Bedroom Tax. We don’t know if it will actually work, but is probably worth a try. Let us know if you try this and how you get on.
Each appeal lodged costs the council around £200 and forces them to open a file and spend time reviewing it.
If tenants lodge appeals en masse, we can throw a spanner in the works of the bedroom tax, making it too difficult and too expensive to roll out.
If you are holding meetings in your area already, bring copies of an appeal letter to the meetings and get anybody who hasn’t already to sign them and send them off, the more people who appeal the better.
You can use the standard letter below as a template:
To whom it may concern (add council official, housing association, etc)
I received your decision letter dated (INSERT DATE) and referenced above that imposed an under occupation charge, or bedroom tax of 14% / 25% (delete as appropriate) on my existing award of Housing Benefit.
I consider this unwarranted yet in order to challenge this in the correct way and potentially by way of formal appeal I require further information to be sent to me within 7 days of this letter and the urgency of that is to ensure I have enough time to formulate any such appeal and in full knowledge of the facts of my case within the time allowed; OR in the alternative I request the deadline for any such formal appeal be moved to 21 days after I receive the request information below:
- A written copy of the Council’s policy and decision-making procedures in relation to referring a socially housed claimant decision to the Rent Officer Service.
- A full explanation of how the council decided that (INSERT ADDRESS) was determined to be a 3 bed property for the under occupation charge and this to include what involvement if any of my landlord, (INSERT LANDLORD NAME) in this process.
Please state by way of covering letter with the requested information any changed deadline date from above with regard to a formal appeal.
We argue that it’s only tenant solidarity and direct action that will see the working class get the goods.
(Standard letter taken from http://speye.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/bedroom-tax-why-and-how-all-tenants-should-appeal-and-the-impact/).
Thanks to @speyejoe for details.