Housing benefit restrictions

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Housing benefit restrictions for housing association tenants

From April 2013, the Government introduced housing benefit rules affecting working-age people, who are renting from a local authority, a registered housing association, or other registered social landlords.

This has commonly been called "bedroom tax" in the press.

The new rules will restrict the size of accommodation for which you can receive housing benefit. One bedroom is allowed for each of the following:

  • Every adult couple (married or unmarried)
  • Any other adult age 16 or over
  • Any two children, under 16 years of age, of the same sex
  • Any two children under 10 years of age
  • Any other child, (other than a foster child or child whose main home is elsewhere)
  • A carer (or team of carers) who does not live with you but provides you, or your partner, with overnight care
  • Foster carers will be allowed one additional room, as long as they have fostered a child or become an approved foster carer within the last 52 weeks
  • Parents with children in the armed forces (or reservists) who normally live with them will be able to retain the bedroom for that adult child when they are deployed on operations
  • A room is allowed for a disabled child who is unable to share a bedroom

If, under these rules, you are treated as having more bedrooms than necessary, you will be considered to be under-occupying your home and your housing benefit will be reduced. The reduction will be based on a percentage of your rent:

  • 14 per cent reduction for under-occupancy by one bedroom
  • 25 per cent for under-occupancy by two bedrooms or more

If you are thinking of moving, or renewing your existing tenancy, you need to take account of these changes. Alternatively you could rent out a spare bedroom. If there are any changes within your household or income you do need to let us know about your change in circumstances.

If you would like to discuss how these changes may affect your claim, or if you would like to apply for an additional room based on the exceptions above, please email us. Alternatively, you can telephone the benefits team on 01732 876376.