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Under occupation

Housing Benefit is reduced for some people who are living in a property larger than required for their household size. This applies to working age people renting from a social landlord such as the Council or a housing association. It does not apply to pensioners.

The calculation is that a separate bedroom can be available for each couple or single adult over 16, and then it is assumed two children can share up to age 15 if they are of the same sex and up to age 10 if they are of opposite sexes.

For example:

  1. A couple with a boy aged three and a girl aged seven would qualify for a total of two bedrooms (i.e. the children would have to share a room).
  2. A lone parent with a boy aged three, a girl aged seven and a boy aged 12 would qualify for a total of three bedrooms.
  3. A couple with boys aged five and 13, and girls aged nine and 16 would qualify for a total of four bedrooms.

The rent used to calculate your housing benefit entitlement will be reduced by 14% if there is one spare bedroom and by 25% if there are two.

You may be able to receive an extra room allowance if you have a disabled person who is unable to share a bedroom as described above. The disabled person must be in receipt of the care component of Disability Living Allowance at middle or high rate; PIP daily living, at either rate, Attendance Allowance or Armed Forces Independence Payment.

If you think this may apply to someone in your household, please complete the Extra Bedroom form below.

Apply for an extra bedroom for a disabled person

Also, if you are disabled and need a regular overnight carer, or team of carers, who do not live at your home, they may be entitled to a bedroom. Complete our Additional Bedroom for Overnight Carers form for more information and use this form to give us details of the caring arrangements. We will then give you a decision about whether an extra bedroom can be allowed.

 Apply for Additional Bedroom

Anyone wanting information about social housing transfers and moves should go to Gateway to Homechoice.

If you don't want to move you can remain in your present home but you will have to pay any shortfall in rent due to any extra 'unoccupied/spare' bedrooms. If you have a specific reason for needing to stay in your property such as having disabled adaptations, you may be able to apply for Discretionary Housing Payments.

Under Occupation - Frequently Asked Questions.