under-occupation | believe housing


Under-occupation (sometimes referred to as the ‘bedroom tax’) limits the amount of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit you receive if the government deem you to have more bedrooms than they think you need.

Your Housing Benefit, or the help included in your Universal Credit, will be reduced by an amount equal to 14% of your rent if you are regarded as having one ‘extra’ bedroom; or by 25% of your rent if you have two or more ‘extra’ bedrooms.

But it doesn’t affect everybody. You won’t need to pay any more rent for having ‘too many’ bedrooms if:

  • You (or you and your husband, wife or partner) are Pension Credit age or over and receive Housing Benefit
  • You live in a ‘shared ownership’ property
  • You are living in a certain type of ‘temporary accommodation’
  • You live in a particular type of supported housing called ‘exempt accommodation’
  • Your Housing Benefit has already been reduced due to a referral.

How many bedrooms am I allowed?

The rules allow one bedroom for:

  • Each adult or couple
  • Any single person aged 16 or over
  • Any two children under 10 regardless of sex
  • Any two children under 16 of the same sex.

Foster children and children who stay only part of the time are not taken into account; however this will depend on individual circumstances.

For more information and to confirm your status contact Durham County Council.

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