Case study: £4,429.58 of Council Tax arrears written off

Bidandi’ is a refugee who was granted asylum in the UK. He suffers from PTSD and other mental health problems as a result of his experiences in his home country. After leaving National Asylum Support Service accommodation Bidandi was made homeless. The local authority in which he was resident recognised his vulnerability and placed him in accommodation in a neighboring borough in 2013. He remains in the same property today and is currently in receipt of ESA, PIP and Housing Benefit.   Continue reading

Case study: tenant or licensee?

Javier approached us at an outreach session. He had been issued with a possession claim and his hearing was listed in the next few weeks. The basis of the claim was alleged rent arrears and that the contract had ended. Javier was very distressed as the agents for the property had called the police to assist them in evicting him. Surprisingly the police took his security of tenure more seriously and informed the agents they must obtain a possession order. Continue reading

A tale of two tribunal decisions

Judges are rarely outspoken people, particularly when it comes to political issues. They studiously maintain their independence and political neutrality, restricting their judgements to matters of law. The same is true for those Judges that chair tribunal panels. Despite being forced to consider some truly appalling DWP decisions tribunal Judges rarely criticise the DWP, instead they focus on ensuring the correct decision is made in the end. Continue reading

Review: Dispatches on the lower Benefit Cap

Earlier this week Channel Four broadcast a new Dispatches documentary on the impact of the lower Benefit Cap. Despite the fact that the new lower level affects a much broader group of people than the initial cap, including many more single people, the programme largely focused on lone parent families with a large number of kids. To truly reflect the impact of the lower cap it would’ve been better to show a broader group of those affected. Continue reading