Under-occupancy reduction

The government has changed the rules relating to housing benefit for all working age council and housing association tenants.

If your home is considered too large for you, your housing benefit could be cut.

There is a limit on the number of bedrooms council or housing association tenants can receive housing benefit for, based on the make up of your household.

For example, if your children have grown up and left home and you now have a spare bedroom, you will not receive housing benefit to cover the spare bedroom.

The rules allow one bedroom for:

  • every adult couple - married or unmarried
  • any other adult aged 16 or over
  • any 2 children of the same sex aged under 16
  • any 2 children aged under 10
  • any additional child - including a foster child, other than a child whose main home is elsewhere
  • a carer, or team of carers, who do not live with you but provide you or your partner with overnight care

If you are under occupying there will be a reduction in your housing benefit.

Rates of reduction

Those that are considered to be under occupying their accommodation will see a reduction in their housing benefit calculated by a reduction of:

  • 14% of the total eligible rent for under occupation by 1 bedroom
  • 25% of the total eligible rent for under occupation by 2 bedrooms or more

Contact information

Welfare and Housing Service

Make an enquiry