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Under-occupancy

Quicklinks LogoFrom April 2013, people born after 5 October 1951 who receive housing benefit and live in council or housing association properties with more bedrooms than the new rules permit will have their housing benefit reduced.

Under-occupancy rules:

For housing benefit purposes, each of the following members of a household are entitled to one bedroom:

  • a single person or a couple
  • another adult who is aged 16 or over
  • two children who are younger than 16 and of the same sex
  • two children of either sex who are younger than 10
  • one bedroom for any other child
  • a non-resident carer who provides overnight care for a person with a disability.

Please note that foster-parents are not automatically entitled to a spare bedroom for foster-children. If this rule affects you, please speak to your social worker.

If you have one extra bedroom your Housing Benefit will be cut by 14% of your eligible rent (regardless of whether your Housing Benefit is for the full rent). This means that you could get, on average, £11 per week less towards your rent.

If you have two or more extra bedrooms, your Housing Benefit will be cut by 25% of your eligible rent (regardless of whether your Housing Benefit is for the full rent). This means that you could get, on average, £20 per week less towards your rent.

If you have one or more extra bedrooms than the rules allow, you will have to pay the difference between your housing benefit and your rent.

What can you do?

Speak to your landlord (the council or your housing association) about your options.

Speak to the Council about Discretionary Housing Payments.

 

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