The Government now takes into account how many people live in the property when you apply for Housing Benefit (which will later be included in your Universal Credit payment).

There are now rules about how many bedrooms you are entitled to and if you have more bedrooms than the Government say you need your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit will be cut.

The rules are:

  • Children under 16 of the same sex are expected to share a room
  • Children under 10 are expected to share a room, regardless of their sex
  • If you or your partner are disabled and need a non-resident overnight carer, you are allowed an extra room.

Foster carers have some protection and the armed forces are exempt from the bedroom tax. If you fall into these categories, and need further advice, please speak to your Council’s Housing Benefit department, or to the DWP (if you are getting Universal Credit).

Households where there is a room kept for a student studying away from home will not be deemed to be under-occupying if the student is away for less than 52 weeks (under housing benefit) or 6 months (under Universal Credit) - and the local authority accepts that the household is still the student's main home.

If you are affected by these changes and need advice please contact us on 01480 428521.