Bedroom Tax

Housing Benefit has changed

Since April 2013 there have been new rules in Housing Benefit for working-age people living in social housing.

Pensioners aren’t affected by this change

What are the new rules?

Under the new rules you will receive Housing Benefit based on the number of people in your household and the size of your accommodation.

How many bedrooms can I claim for?

The rules allow 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 (other than a foster child or child whose main home is elsewhere)
  • children who can’t share because of a disability or medical condition
  • a carer (or team of carers) providing overnight care.

One spare bedroom is allowed for:

  • an approved foster carer who is between placements, but only for up to 52 weeks from the end of the last placement
  • a newly approved foster carer for up to 52 weeks from the date of approval if no child is placed with them during that time.

Rooms used by students and members of the armed or reserve forces will not be counted as ‘spare’ if they’re away and intend to return home.

In addition, you may be entitled to additional bedrooms if you have recently suffered a bereavement in the household.

Bedroom Size Guide

You can check the number of bedrooms you might need using the bedroom calculator at Type of property recommended for each household size:

One (1) Bedroom Two (2) Bedrooms Three (3) Bedrooms Four (4) Bedrooms
Single person
Two Adults
Parent(s) & 1 child
Parent(s) & 2 children of the same sex under 16
Parent(s) & 2 children of any sex under 10
Parent(s) & 2 children of opposite sex with 1 child over 10
Parent(s) & 2 children of same sex with 1 child over 16
Parent(s) and 3 or more children
Parent(s) and 3 children of different sex with 2 children over 16
Parent(s) & 4 or more children with 1 child over 16

Reductions in Benefit

If you live in a property larger than your bedroom allowance, you will be considered to be under-occupying your accommodation.

Your Housing Benefit entitlement will be cut by:

  • 14% for one spare bedroom
  • 25% for two or more spare bedrooms

This means you will have to pay Bassetlaw District Council the shortfall between your Housing Benefit entitlement and the rent. This is approximately:

  • £11 per week for 1 spare bedroom
  • £20 per week for 2 or more spare bedrooms

Will this affect my Housing Application?

No, but if you need to claim Housing Benefit to help pay your rent then you should think carefully before bidding on a property that you would be classed as under-occupying, and be sure that you can afford to cover the shortfall in your Housing Benefit.

Where can I get more information?

For advice on which property types you should bid for, phone 0800 590 542 or call into our Property Shops at Queen's Buildings or Retford Town Hall.

For information on Housing Benefit contact Bassetlaw District Council's Benefit's Unit on 01909 533710.

For help with budgeting or to check that you're receiving all the benefits you're entitled to, contact Bassetlaw District Council's Money Advisors, Darrell Berridge and Adam Mills on 01909 533 533.

Last Updated on Friday, February 3, 2023