The amount of housing benefit you are entitled to has changed, and a cut in the amount of housing benefit will be made if you have a spare bedroom in your home.
The two main points of the change, which have been introduced by the government, are:
- If you have one ‘spare’ bedroom, your housing benefit will be cut by 14%
- If you have two or more ‘spare’ bedrooms, your housing benefit will be cut by 25%
What are the rules?
Under the rules you are able to have one bedroom each for:
- A married or unmarried adult couple
- Anyone who is 16 or over
- Two children of the same sex who are under 16
- Two children under 10 of any sex
- A carer who does not normally live with you but who provides or your partner with overnight care
The rules do not allow a bedroom for:
- A child whose main home is somewhere else – for example, a child who stays with you for a certain number of nights per week. This is because only one parent can be classed as the ‘main carer’
- A couple who sleep in separate rooms, even if this is for medical or physical reasons
- Family members who visit you
Are you affected?
The rules affect people who are aged between 16-64. So, if you do claim housing benefit, and you live in a home with a spare bedroom, you may receive a smaller amount of housing benefit.
If you’re 65 or over, the rules will not affect you.
Find out how these changes will affect you using this Bedroom Tax Checker
Things you might need to think about
If you believe the new rules might affect you, there are a number of things that you should consider.
- How will you pay the difference if you decide to stay where you are?
- Is moving to a smaller house an option? Not only would this save your rent, it could also reduce your regular household bills, too.
- Could I find a lodger? If you are thinking about taking in a lodger, you’ll need to ask permission from us first.
Want to know more?
If you’d like more information on the Bedroom tax and how it might affect you, get in touch with our customer service team. We can help you work out how much housing benefit you could lose, and help you decide what your options are.
You can also ask your local authority for more details, and the following websites are also extremely useful.