Benefits and Money Advice

What is the Bedroom Tax?

The amount of housing benefit you receive is based on the number of bedrooms you have in your home and the number of people who occupy those bedrooms.

If you are of working age and claiming housing benefit, you may be affected.


The rules

Who is expected to share a room?

  • Adult couple
  • 2 children of the same sex under 16
  • 2 children of either sex under 10


Who can have their own bedroom?

  • A single adult aged 16 or over
  • A child who would normally share eg. You have 3 children and 2 already share
  • Children who can’t share because of a medical condition or disability
  • A non-resident overnight carer for you or your partner


A spare bedroom is allowed for:

  • An approved foster carer who is between placements but only for up to 52 weeks from the last placement
  • A newly approved foster carer for up to 52 weeks if no child is with them during that time


Am I affected?

You may get less housing benefit if you have more bedrooms than the rules above.

The amount of housing benefit is cut by:

  • 14% if you have one spare bedroom
  • 25% if you have two spare bedrooms


What to do if your benefit is cut

If your housing benefit doesn’t cover your full rent, you must make up the difference yourself or you risk losing your home.

You could:

  • Try to increase your income by getting a job our employment team could help
  • Rent out your spare room (you’ll need to ask us first)
  • Move to a smaller home


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