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Joint tenants both claiming UC - double bedroom tax?

tbidmead
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I feel this should be an obvious one but struggling to find an answer. I suspect I’m failing to see the wood for the trees.

Brother and sister are joint tenants of a 2 bed social sector tenancy.
Both claiming UC. Housing costs apportioned 50/50.
Both are being bedroom taxed.

I feel like this can’t be correct but struggling to reference how. Any help appreciated.

Elliot Kent
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Each is a member of the “extended benefit unit” of the other and therefore ought to be considered in calculating the applicable number of bedrooms - which is 2 as there are (presumably) two adults each requiring a room. See e.g. para 9, Sch 4 of the UC regs.

tbidmead
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Thanks Elliot.
What’s confusing me is that Sch 4, para 9 (2)(d) appears to exclude the other person from being a non dep and thus part of the extended benefit unit due to having their own liability to make payments.

Elliot Kent
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Yeah I think I might be wrong and getting muddled up over the different way that the rules are framed for HB and UC. I will try and get back to you unless someone beats me to it.

Ianb
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I think it’s correct. My understanding is that they are separate single person benefit units. Each therefore gets hit by bedroom tax but there are no deductions for housing contribution by the other. The bedroom tax imposition is hard in these circumstances.
[EDIT - Charles has corrected me below, bedroom tax does not apply]

[ Edited: 28 May 2020 at 09:23 am by Ianb ]
Charles
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It isn’t correct. See Sched 4 para 35(4), which doesn’t allow for deducting the bedroom tax (unlike para 34 step 4 and para 35(3)).

This is also explicitly mentioned in the guidance, where it says “This reduction does not apply if the claimant is a joint tenant, except where they form a couple in a household.”

Elliot Kent
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Charles - 28 May 2020 03:10 AM

It isn’t correct. See Sched 4 para 35(4), which doesn’t allow for deducting the bedroom tax (unlike para 34 step 4 and para 35(3)).

Thanks Charles - seems I had the right answer for the wrong reasons. Of course for HB, Reg B13 just counts the other adult in the property as requiring a room and I had lazily applied the same logic to UC, but instead we have the less obvious route where the bedroom tax step is just skipped altogether.

This was frustrating me and I’d spoken to a colleague about it and he has emailed me back:
“Like you it still screams wrong……. Maybe this will be one of those 3am moments when the solution arrives?”
so I was amused by the timing of your post.

 

Ianb
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Thanks Charles - glad to have been put right (I worry that you were doing it at 3 o’clock in the morning!).

[ Edited: 28 May 2020 at 01:45 pm by Ianb ]
tbidmead
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Superb - thanks very much Charles. Massively helpful.