If you are assessed as having more bedrooms than are necessary for your household you will be considered to be under-occupying that property. This applies to customers who rent from a Housing Association.

If you are under-occupying there will be a reduction in your Housing Benefit. The amount allowed for rent and any service charges will be reduced.

A 14% reduction will be made to your applicable maximum rent if you under occupy your home by a single bedroom and a 25% reduction for two bedrooms or more.

The new rules will allow you 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 (Extra bedrooms are not allowed for children who visit the household at weekends)
  • a carer (or team of carers) who do not live with you but provide you or your partner with overnight care.
  • A child who has severe disabilities that prevents them from sharing a room.(This will be a Local Authority decision based on the individual circumstances of the household and the disability of the child)
  • People who are approved foster carers, whether or not a child has been placed with them or they are between placements, so long as they have fostered a child, or become an approved foster carer in the last 12 months
  • Adult children who are in the Armed Forces, who continue to live with parents will be allowed a room whilst absent on operational duties and, where the parents are in receipt of HB, there will be no non dependant deduction applied until the adult child returns home.

Where the size limit rules will not be applied

  • State pension credit age – If you are over state pension credit age or have a partner over state pension credit age, pension age is currently 66+ years old.
  • Non-Mainstream accommodation – If you pay mooring charges for house boats and site charges for caravans and mobile homes as well as various “excluded tenancies”.
  • Temporary accommodation – If you have been accepted as homeless under homelessness legislation of the Housing Act 1996 and placed in temporary accommodation by the local authority
  • Shared ownership – If you part own/part rent your home
  • Supported “exempt” accommodation – If you live in a property run by housing associations or charities which provide care/support or supervision.

If you wish to discuss your Housing Benefit further please ring us on 01283 508422 weekdays from 9am to 1pm or email benefits@eaststaffsbc.gov.uk

Options for under-occupiers of social housing

If you are a housing association tenant in East Staffordshire and your housing benefit has been reduced because you have more bedrooms than you are allowed under the social sector size criteria rules, the options for under-occupiers of social housing page will help you decide what to do next.