The Bedroom Tax
The bedroom tax cuts the amount of Housing Benefit that you can get if you are considered to have a spare bedroom.
Tenants of working age who rent from the council or from other social landlords such as Housing Associations will have their Housing Benefit reduced if they are living in a property that is too big for their needs. This will not affect tenants who have reached the age for state Pension Credit.
Housing Benefit legislation places size restrictions on the number of bedrooms people need based on the size of their household.
For example, if a married couple are the only people who stay in a property that has two bedrooms, they will have one bedroom too many. Under these rules they will be "under-occupying" the property. Under occupying is where the government believes that you are living in a property that is bigger than you need. Under these rules you are under occupying your home if you have more bedrooms than you need.
The number of bedrooms people are entitled to is as follows:
- 1 bedroom for an adult couple or a single adult
- 1 bedroom for any other adult aged 16 or over
- 1 bedroom for any two children of the same sex aged 15 or under
- 1 bedroom for any two children under 10 regardless of sex
- 1 bedroom for any other child
- 1 bedroom for a non-resident overnight carer
If you are under occupying your home the amount of Housing Benefit you receive will be reduced. There are two rates of reduction: If you have one extra bedroom the eligible rent used to work out your Housing Benefit will be reduced by 14%; if you have two or more extra bedrooms the eligible rent used to work out your Housing Benefit will be reduced by 25%.
If you are subject to the bedroom tax, the Council will offer assistance through an award of Discretionary Housing Payment. Further information on Discretionary Housing Payments.