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Housing Benefit for Social Housing Tenants - Size Criteria

How the size of your home affects your housing benefit.

From 1 April 2013 there were changes in the way Housing Benefit is calculated for working age tenants who rent from a registered social landlord (i.e. from Uttlesford District Council or a Housing Association. Some people are referring to this as the 'Bedroom Tax'.

This means there are restrictions on the size of property Housing Benefit will pay for, based on who lives in the property. If you have more bedrooms in your home than is necessary according to the new rules, you will lose some of your benefit.

How will this be worked out?

The new rules will allow one bedroom for:

  • every adult couple (married or unmarried)
  • any other adult aged 16 or over
  • any two children of the same sex aged under 16
  • any two children aged under 10
  • any other child (other than a foster child or child whose main home is elsewhere)
  • a carer (or team of carers) who do not live with the claimant but provide them or their partner with overnight care

If someone is considered to be under-occupying their accommodation there will be a reduction in the amount allowed for rent and any service charges:

  • 14% reduction if they are considered to have one extra bedroom
  • 25% reduction if they have two or more extra bedrooms

If you think you might be affected by these changes, speak to your landlord in the first instance about your options. Your landlord should be able to advise you on the prospects for moving to a smaller property. If you decide to stay in your current home you will be able to discuss with them how you will pay the additional rent.

Go straight to our other related services

►  Help for those suffering financial hardship
►  What to do if you can't pay your rent
►  Council Tax and Housing Benefit forms


Additional Information

Housing Benefits section of GOV.UK website (opens new window)

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