Tenants renting from a housing association, other registered social landlord or the council, may have their housing benefit reduced if they have one or more spare bedrooms.
People of pensionable age are not affected (pension age is currently 62+ years old).
How many bedrooms is my household allowed?
The government has provided a set calculation for working out the number of bedrooms a household needs. Based on this calculation you need to count one bedroom for the following people:
- A single claimant or adult couple
- Any other single adult aged 16 or over
- Two children under age 10 regardless of gender
- Two children of the same gender aged under 16
- Any other child
- A carer (who does not normally live with you) if you or your partner need overnight care
- Foster carers will be allowed one additional room, so long as they have fostered a child or become an approved foster carer within the last 52 weeks.
- Parents with adult children in the armed forces (or reservists) who normally live with them will be able to retain the bedroom for that adult child when they are deployed on operations.
Are there any exceptions?
An extra room can be allowed where the Benefits Service is satisfied that a child is unable to share a bedroom because of a disability or medical condition.
Extra bedrooms are not allowed for children who visit the household at weekends.
How much benefit will I lose?
Those with one spare bedroom will lose 14% of their housing benefit. Those with two or more spare bedrooms will lose 25%
Example 1: A couple live in a 3 bedroom house and have one child age 3. Based on the new rules the household would only be entitled to 2 bedrooms so their Housing Benefit would be reduced by 14%.
Example 2: A couple live in a 3 bedroom house with their son aged 14 and daughter aged 17. Based on the new rules their Housing Benefit will not be affected as they are entitled to have 3 bedrooms.
Example 3: A single parent lives in a 3 bedroom house with her sons aged 6 and 8. Based on the new rules the household would only be entitled to 2 bedrooms so their Housing Benefit will be reduced by 14%.
Example 4: A couple live in a 4 bedroom house with their daughter aged 5 and son aged 7. The husband's son aged 16 comes to stay at weekends. Based on the new rules they will only be entitled to 2 bedrooms. Their daughter and youngest son would be expected to share a room and the eldest son would not be counted as he only stays at the weekend. The couple would have their benefit reduced by 25%.
Where can I get advice and support?
If you have any queries regarding bedroom entitlement please contact your landlord.
If there are any changes in your circumstances, such as people moving in or out of the property, please notify the Benefits Service.