Housing benefit for working age customers who live in housing association properties will be reduced if you have more rooms than you and your family need.
The reduction will not apply if:
You are under occupying your property if you have more bedrooms than your household needs. The number of bedrooms that working age customers will be able to claim for will be the same as customers who reside in privately rented homes.
There are also restrictions on the levels of housing benefit awarded to tenants of other private landlords under the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rules.
The LHA rate shown will not apply to you as a housing association tenant. The amount of housing benefit you will be entitled to will be reduced in line with the under-occupancy rules.
1 bedroom is allowed for each of the following groups:
If you do not agree with the number of bedrooms we have used to calculate your housing benefit entitlement then you can make an appeal. Any appeal should be made in writing within 1 month of the decision. View more information on making an appeal.
View our bedroom calculator to find out what Local Housing Allowance category you and your family fit into.
If you have extra rooms you will have reductions applied to your rent as follows:
1 extra bedroom - 14% reduction
2 or more extra bedrooms - 25% reduction
So, for example, a lone parent with 1 boy aged 3 and 1 girl aged 7 is entitled to 2 rooms (1 for an adult and 1 for the 2 children who must share). They live in a 3-bedroom house and their rent is £80 per week. A 14% reduction applies therefore the most we could pay in housing benefit is £68.80 per week.
If you are under occupying your property the amount of rent we use to calculate your benefit will reduce. This means the amount of housing benefit you get will reduce and you will have to pay towards your rent.
We will continue to pay housing benefit if you are on income support, but it will not cover your full rent if you have spare bedrooms. You will have an amount of rent to pay yourself. You should contact your Housing Association to make arrangements to pay.
You may be entitled to another room if you need regular overnight care and the care is provided by someone who does not live with you permanently.
To be eligible for this you must:
You must be in receipt of either:
If you are not in receipt of a qualifying benefit then we would need medical evidence from a GP or other medical profession that supports the requirement for regular overnight care.
If you have a disability and your partner is your carer you will not qualify for another bedroom, when receiving care the care must be provided by someone who does not live with you.
You may be entitled to another bedroom if you have a disability which means you are unable to share a bedroom with your partner.
To be eligible for this you must be in receipt of either:
We may need to ask for more information about your medical condition and how it affects you if you think you may qualify.
You are entitled to an additional bedroom if you have a child who is unable to share with a sibling due to a severe disability.
We would need to assess the need for another bedroom by considering:
The child must be in receipt of:
You may be entitled to another bedroom if you have a child with a disability or a non-dependant with a disability who requires overnight care and the care is provided by someone who does not normally live with you.
To be eligible for this you must:
The child of non-dependant must be in receipt of either:
Non-dependants who normally reside in your home and are members of the armed forces are entitled to a bedroom whilst they are away from the home on operations.
Approved foster carers are entitled to 1 additional bedroom where one of the following conditions apply:
Children who stay at weekends - The law does not allow another room if children only stay at weekends and are not permanent residents. Children are usually included in the household of the person who receives child benefit for them.
Non-dependants who have another address - Non-dependants who are employed full-time in the army and live in barracks or who are at University staying in halls of residence, for which they pay rent and Council Tax are not treated as part of your household for housing benefit purposes as they do not live permanently with you, even if they return for the holidays. You will need to inform us if they intend to return home on a permanent basis.
If you are having difficulty paying your rent due to the Under Occupancy charge you can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment.