Case details

RR (AP) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Respondent)

Case ID: UKSC 2018/0224

Case summary

  1. Whether statutory authorities, including the First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal, have the power or duty to calculate entitlement to housing benefit without making deductions for under-occupancy, so as not to violate a claimant’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights;
  2. if so, the extent to which the payment of discretionary housing payments are relevant to the task of the statutory authorities in calculating entitlement.

The appellant, RR, lives with his severely disabled partner in social sector rented accommodation with two bedrooms. On 5 March 2013 Sefton Borough Council decided that RR and his partner were under-occupying the accommodation and reduced his entitlement to housing benefit by 14% pursuant to Regulation 13B of the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006. RR appealed. The First-tier Tribunal held that RR required a second bedroom because of his partner’s disabilities and her need to accommodate medical equipment and supplies. The Upper Tribunal allowed the respondent’s appeal. The question arises as to what powers the tribunals have to interpret or disapply secondary legislation following the decision of the Court of Appeal in Carmichael v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2018] 1 WLR 3429.





Secretary of State for Work and Pensions



Lady Hale, Lord Reed, Lady Black, Lord Briggs, Lady Arden

Hearing start date

03 Jul 2019

Hearing finish date

03 Jul 2019

Watch hearing
03 Jul 2019 Morning session Afternoon session