A DISABLED man who researched Government guidelines after being told to pay tax on his second bedroom believes he should be exempt.
Michael Young, of Coalville Close, Lullington, says South Derbyshire District Council decided he would pay the new ‘bedroom tax’ by looking at how many bedrooms he had rather than the size of his second bedroom.
The 59-year-old, who stands to lose £7 a week from his housing benefit, said: “I didn’t think anymore of it but my friend and I decided to do a bit of research. Under government guidelines it says if your room doesn’t meet a certain length and width (a total of 70 sq ft) then it is not classified as a bedroom and there should be no charge. It makes me worry that other people who have a box room will think they will have to pay.
“The council is only working on how many bedrooms your house has no matter what size. They thought I had a two-bedroom house but I don’t. My box room is just below 9ft by 6ft (54 sq ft). I was originally quite happy to pay as I don’t want to move because I like Lullington. There is peace and quiet here.”
A spokesman for South Derbyshire District Council said: “Our Housing Operations team is going above and beyond to support tenants who will be affected by the ‘bedroom tax’.
“As well as writing to 322 households and raising awareness through the Housing News magazine, officers are making telephone calls and visiting tenants to provide the personal touch.
“We are aware of research suggesting that small bedrooms under 70 square feet are not applicable under the national reforms.
“If there are individual cases that need to be reviewed we would look at them closely. However, guidance states we have to be led by how many bedrooms the landlord classifies a property as having. There is no minimum or maximum bedroom size included in the legislation.
“We have offered appropriate advice and guidance to Mr Young about his options moving forward.”