Housing benefits

Under Occupation Penalty or 'Bedroom Tax'

If you rent from a housing association or registered social landlord and you have one or more spare bedrooms, we may reduce your Housing Benefit.

You must count one bedroom for the following:

  • an adult couple or a single adult (16 or older)
  • 2 children under 16 of the same gender
  • 2 children under 10 (regardless of gender)
  • another child if you already have 2 who share
  • a couple or children who cannot share because of a disability or medical condition
  • an overnight carer for a member of your household if the carer does not live with you but sometimes has to stay overnight

One spare bedroom is allowed for:

  • foster carers who have fostered (or become an approved foster carer) in the last 52 weeks
  • parents with adult children in the Armed Forces (or reservists) if they are away and intend to return home

If your home is larger than you need, you may lose part of your Housing Benefit.

The reduction is:

  • 14% of the ‘eligible rent’ for 1 spare bedroom
  • 25% of the ‘eligible rent’ for 2 or more spare bedrooms

Example: Your eligible rent is £100 per week. Housing Benefit pays £50 and you pay £50. You have 1 spare bedroom so the reduction is 14%. This means your benefit will be reduced by £14.