Under-occupancy for social housing tenants
The Government has set rules on the number of bedrooms for people who rent a home from us, a housing association or a registered social landlord. This can make a difference to your housing benefit.
You will be allowed one bedroom for:
- each adult couple
- anyone over the age of 16
- two children of the same sex under 16
- two children under 10 whether boy or girl
- any other child
- if you or your partner need overnight care
- a carer who does not normally live with you
- a severely disabled child when it would be wrong for them to share a bedroom
- an empty room expected to be used by a child you are fostering
- a room left empty by an adult child serving in the Armed Forces while they are away on operations
These rules will apply even if:
- you and your partner need to sleep apart for medical reasons
- your child lives somewhere else but you have a spare room for when they stay with you
If you have one 'spare' bedroom we will cut your maximum housing beneﬁt by 14 per cent of the rent you pay each week.
If you have two or more 'spare' bedrooms, we will reduce it by 25 per cent.
There are people who would not be affected including:
- those of state pension credit age or with a partner of that age
- disabled people in a home provided by a county council, housing association, registered charity or voluntary organisation that provides care, support or supervision for the tenant
- homeless people in temporary accommodation
- those in shared ownership homes
If your housing benefit does not cover all your rent and you need more help, you might want to consider a discretionary housing payment.