Government under-occupancy rules mean you may receive less Housing Benefit if you live in a property which has more bedrooms than you actually need.
If you are:
- of working age
- living in accommodation provided by a registered social landlord or a housing association
- living in accommodation which has more bedrooms than your household needs
then your Housing Benefit will be reduced.
You're entitled to one bedroom for:
- an adult couple
- 2 children under 16 of the same sex
- 2 children under 10 (regardless of sex)
- a single adult (16 or over)
- a child that would normally share but shared bedrooms are already taken, for example you have three children and two already share a room
- children who can't share because of a disability or medical condition
- a non-resident overnight carer for you or your partner (but only if they must stay overnight)
Foster children living in the property are not included as members of the household.
You can find out the total number of bedrooms that your household is entitled to using the online bedroom entitlement calculator and compare this to the actual number of bedrooms in the property to work out whether you will be under-occupying the property.
If you're under-occupying the property by one bedroom a 14% reduction will be applied to your eligible rent, and for two or more bedrooms a 25% reduction will applied.
This means that if your rent is £80 a week and your household has one spare bedroom, your Housing Benefit will be reduced by £11.20 per week (14% of £80). You'll have to pay the £11.20 a week yourself to make up the shortfall. Two spare bedrooms would mean a £20 per week shortfall to pay.
If you can't pay and go into rent arrears, you should contact your Housing Officer immediately for help and advice.