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).
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:
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.
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%.
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.
Information for where you live
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Revenues and Benefits Service
PO Box 16