Under occupation

There can be restrictions on Housing Benefit if your property is too large for the size of your household. This is also known as the 'bedroom tax' and 'removal of spare room subsidy'.

This only affects you if both of the following criteria apply:

  • you are a working age tenant
  • you rent your home from a social landlord, for example Six Town Housing or a housing association

It does not affect you if any of the following apply:

  • you, or your partner, are a pensioner
  • you rent your home from a private landlord
  • you are a tenant in sheltered or support accommodation - this is where your landlord also provides care, support or supervision
  • you are recently bereaved - you will be exempt from any reduction for 52 weeks
  • you are making a new claim for Housing Benefit and you could previously afford to pay your rent - you will be exempt from any reduction for 13 weeks

Amounts of under occupancy reductions

Under occupation is measured by the number of bedrooms your household needs. You are entitled to one bedroom for:

  • a couple
  • someone aged 16 or over
  • two children aged under 10
  • two children of the same sex aged under 16
  • any other child
  • a carer who does not live you but stays overnight to look after you or your partner
  • a disabled child who is unable to share a bedroom due to their disability
  • being a foster carer, whether you have a child fostered with you or not
  • adult children who are in the armed forces but are deployed away on operations

If you have spare bedrooms your Housing Benefit will be reduced by the following amounts:

  • 14% of the amount of rent you are charged for one spare bedroom
  • 25% of the amount of rent you are charged for two or more spare bedrooms