Wrexham Council will re-assess some of its housing stock after deciding that boxrooms smaller than 50 square feet cannot be considered as bedrooms.
Speaking to Wrexham.com, Cllr Neil Rogers, Leader of Wrexham Council said: “The redesignation of properties is something that can be done in certain circumstances, but we do need to be mindful of government guidance. We have redesignated a number of properties where the third bedroom is very small and is below fifty square feet.
“We will be carrying out a stock condition survey over the next few months and as part of that work we will be checking bedroom sizes to see if there other properties affected.
“We would urge any tenants who are affected by the recent changes in welfare benefits and who have any concerns in meeting their rent payments, or who may want to move to smaller accommodation , to get in touch with their local housing office. ”
The Council have been praised by Plaid Cymru for their decision to re-designate council houses as two-bed rather than three-bedroom properties by excluding boxrooms.
The re-designation currently only applies to seven former NCB houses in Llay but yesterday Plaid Cymru appealed for the council to carry out a full stock survey to assess how many other houses could be re-designated.
Community Councillor Carrie Harper, of Queensway ward, said “The decision to re-designate these homes will help tenants avoid being penalised by the Bedroom Tax. That is a welcome move as the Bedroom Tax is hitting hard, with more and more people applying to the council for help with their rent.
“What we in Plaid have argued for is that all houses that have a bedroom smaller than 50 sq ft should be re-designated. We’ve been contacted by many concerned tenants who we’ve advised to appeal to the council regarding the size of their third bedrooms. The 1985 Housing Act is clear that any room below that size should not be considered as a bedroom.
“It’s clear that the council is moving in the right direction on this matter but seven homes are just the tip of the iceberg. There are more than 11,000 council houses in Wrexham and many will have a small boxroom currently classified as a bedroom.
Councillor Harper echoed Cllr Rogers advice urging all tenants with boxrooms smaller than 50 square feet to contact their local Housing Office to request a re-designation.
Cllr Harper added: “Any tenant wanting more information on this from us can contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to help.”