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The bedroom tax

If you rent your home from us and you have one or more ‘spare’ bedrooms your housing benefit may be reduced. Here, we help explain what is deemed as a ‘spare’ bedroom.

If you have a ‘spare’ bedroom your housing benefit will be cut by 14% of the rent you pay every week. If you have two or more spare bedrooms, you will lose 25%. If your benefit is cut, you will have to pay us the difference between your housing benefit and your rent.

This could affect you:

  • If you are 16 to 61 years old
  • Even if you only get a small amount of housing benefit- for example, if you are working
  • Even if you are sick or disabled

You won’t be affected if:

  • You live in a one bedroom flat or bedsit, or
  • If you or your partner is old enough to receive pension credits. In March 2014 the pension credit age will be around 62 years.

What is a 'spare' room?

If you have one or more bedrooms than the government says you need, you will lose part of your housing benefit. The rules mean you will be allocated one bedroom for:

  • Each adult couple
  • Any other person aged 16 or over
  • Two children aged 10 or under regardless of their sex
  • Any other child
  • A carer (who does not normally live with you) if you or your partner need overnight care

It does not matter how the ‘spare’ bedroom is used, the new rules apply even if:

  • You or your partner need to sleep apart because of a medical condition
  • The main residence of your children is another address, but you have a spare room for when they stay with you.

Taking on a lodger

You may consider taking on a lodger to fill your spare room, read our handy lodger fact sheet for hints and tips.

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