Exclusive use of 2 rooms? – kitchen/living room

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  • #34308
    Louise Morritt
    Participant

    Claimant has use of two rooms, they are both for his sole use but are not interconnected. Both are lockable and only he has access to them. One of the rooms is a bedroom with armchair and TV in it, the other room is his kitchen. He has to cross a landing which is shared with other tenants to get to his kitchen. His bathroom is also accessed from the landing which is shared with other tenants.

    We have paid him the shared room rate but he wants to move his armchair and tv into the room which is his kitchen to make it into his living room with kitchen facilities so that he would have exclusive use of at two rooms and therefore be eligible for the one bedroom rate.

    We are not sure if we would class a living room/kitchen combined as a ‘room’ for determining him as having exclusive use of at least two rooms as required under the regs.

    Please could you give me your views on whether you would pay the one bed rate in these circumstances.

    #96350
    andyrichards
    Participant

    Hmmm……is a room what it’s designed for or is it what you make it? Living rooms with kitchenettes in the corner are not exactly uncommon and what you’d expect in a studio.

    Hasn’t he got exclusive use of two rooms anyway, whatever he does with them?

    #96351
    Louise Morritt
    Participant

    We have received conflicting advice on this from various trainers.

    Some advise that the two exclusive rooms must be ‘bedrooms’ and some advise they must be a ‘bedroom’ OR a ‘room suitable for living in’

    Or is it just two ‘rooms’ as you suggest regardless of usage? So the kitchen would count as an exclusive room?

    #96352
    seanosul
    Participant

    Beat your trainers with a big wet fish until they show you where in the regulations it says that the rooms must be bedrooms.

    The Regs

    [quote:f2788cd259] (b) except where paragraph (a)(i) applies, the category specified in paragraph 1(1)(b) of Schedule 3B to the Rent Officers Order (one bedroom self-contained accommodation) where that applies in the claimant’s case at the relevant date in accordance with the size criteria andโ€”
    (i) the claimant (together with his partner where he has one) has the exclusive use of two or more rooms; or
    (ii) the claimant (together with his partner where he has one) has the exclusive use of one room, a bathroom and toilet and a kitchen or facilities for cooking,
    [/quote:f2788cd259]

    #96353
    graeme
    Participant

    The way I read it’s clear that a kitchen does not count as a room otherwise points i) and ii) would be the same.

    However if he makes his kitchen into a kitchen/living room by sticking in an armchair and a tv, as he has suggested, this would count as room and he’d get the self contained rate.

    #96354
    Darren Broughton
    Participant

    The LHA Adviceline gave the following info when we queried exactly what classed as a room…

    [i:bbaa138cc9]”13D(2)(b)(i) is for where the customer has exclusive use of two rooms or more i.e. they have two rooms which are bedrooms or rooms suitable for living in. In these cases they could have shared use of other rooms.

    13D(2)(b)(ii) is for where the above does not apply i.e. the customer only has one room which is a bedroom or room suitable for living in and also has a bathroom and toilet and a kitchen or facilities for cooking.

    The definition excludes bathroom, toilet and kitchen as they are not bedrooms and are not rooms suitable for living in.”[/i:bbaa138cc9]

    #96355
    Anonymous
    Guest

    [quote:14534161c3=”graeme”]The way I read it’s clear that a kitchen does not count as a room otherwise points i) and ii) would be the same.

    However if he makes his kitchen into a kitchen/living room by sticking in an armchair and a tv, as he has suggested, this would count as room and he’d get the self contained rate.[/quote:14534161c3]

    How do you reach that conclusion? The legislation clearly says a room [b:14534161c3]and[/b:14534161c3] exclusive use of a kitchen [i:14534161c3]and[/i:14534161c3] bathroom. The definition of “bedroom or room suitable for living in” applies to the word “room”, not the words kitchen or bathroom so 1 room plus kitchen and bathroom would do. However, in the example given the clt hasn’t got exclusive use of the bathroom so it wouldn’t attract the self-contained rate (in my opinion)

    #96356
    seanosul
    Participant

    They would then have two rooms suitable for living in. How the tenant uses those rooms is up to them.

    #96357
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Define “kitchen”!!!

    #96358
    Ozzies Mate
    Participant

    Couldn’t resist. Tried to but couldn’t!

    a room where food is prepared and cooked – as per Oxford English dictionary

    #96359
    seanosul
    Participant

    [quote:29ee528a96] (i) the claimant (together with his partner where he has one) has the exclusive use of two or more rooms; or
    (ii) the claimant (together with his partner where he has one) has the exclusive use of one room, a bathroom and toilet and a kitchen or facilities for cooking,
    [/quote:29ee528a96]

    The reg is so badly written that if the claimant has an en suite room with a toaster / teasmade they qualify. As they will have exclusive use of one room, a bathroom and toilet and facilities for cooking. In fact the way it is written is that they need

    a bathroom and toilet and a kitchen or
    facilities for cooking

    to qualify

    No need for a bathroom and toilet and a kitchen

    #96360
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Sean, you’re priceless. You could read it that they only need facilities for cooking and not another room at all, the wording is so poor!

    #96361
    seanosul
    Participant

    Query sent to the LHA Peeps

    [quote:c38498027f] A discussion has been taking place on the HBINFO board about when the exclsuive use rate is appropriate. I think I have spotted a drafting flaw in the regulations. This is how the regulations are written :-

    i) the claimant (together with his partner where he has one) has the

    exclusive use of two or more rooms; or

    (ii) the claimant (together with his partner where he has one) has the

    exclusive use of one room, a bathroom and toilet and a kitchen or

    facilities for cooking,

    It seems to me that the law therefore allows anyone with a toaster and teasmade (for example – it is not for us to define cooking facilities) to qualify for exclusive use. In fact the way it is written is that they need a

    room suitable for living in and a bathroom

    and a toilet and a kitchen

    or facilities for cooking

    Therefore if they have a toaster and kettle there is no need for the “bathroom and toilet and a kitchen”
    [/quote:c38498027f]

    #96362
    seanosul
    Participant

    If this gets out I think I may have driven up the sales of those cheap toaster / kettle packs for students.

    #96363
    Anonymous
    Guest

    [quote:55b8809548]exclusive use of one room, a bathroom and toilet and a kitchen or facilities for cooking, [/quote:55b8809548]

    I’m reading that as:
    * One room, AND
    * A bathroom and toilet, AND
    * A kitchen OR facilities for cooking

    So, the JT with an on-suite bathroom and a microwave gets the one-bed rate, but applying a bit of common sense I don’t think facilities for cooking are a suitable alternative to a toilet. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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