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Under occupancy rules

What are the under occupancy rules?

The under occupancy rules mean that you can only get Housing Benefit based on the number of bedrooms you require.  Your household is allowed one bedroom for each the following:

  • a couple
  • a person over the age of 16
  • two children of the same sex
  • two children who are under 10 of either sex
  • any other child (other than a foster child or a child whose main home is elsewhere)

How will this affect the amount of Housing Benefit I get?

  • If you have one bedroom more than you require, the rent which your Housing Benefit will be based on will be reduced by 14%
  • If you have two or more extra bedrooms, the reduction will be 25%

You may be entitled to an additional bedroom if:

  • you have a child who is unable to share a bedroom due to having a severe disability or other severe health problems
  • you require an additional bedroom for a carer who stays overnight in your home on a regular basis to care for you and/or your partner
  • you are an approved foster carer/kinship carer
  • you have an adult son or daughter who is a member of the armed forces, and who continues to live at home with you when not deployed on operations

If you meet any of the above criteria, please complete and return the Under occupancy additional bedroom application form.

Further information on the under occupancy rules (or the removal of the spare room subsidy as it is also known), can be found within the Department for Work and Pensions factsheet . Alternatively you can contact our Benefits and Council Tax Call Centre.