Under occupancy

What is a spare room?

If you have more bedrooms than the government says you need, you will lose part of your housing benefit. The rules allow one bedroom for:

  • Each adult couple (married or unmarried)
  • Any other person aged 16 or over
  • Two children of the same sex under the age of 16
  • Two children under the age of 10 regardless of their sex
  • Any other child
  • A carer (who does not normally live with you) if you need overnight care. We can also consider an extra room where a disabled child or non-dependant needs an overnight carer

It does not matter how you use the 'spare' bedroom; the rules will apply even if:

  • Your children have a permanent address elsewhere, but you have a spare room for when they stay with you

If you have a child who is unable to share a bedroom because of severe disabilities, you may be granted an extra room in the housing benefit calculation. If you think this applies to you, please contact us and we will be able to provide further guidance.

If you would like to know how the under occupancy rules may affect you, you can use the Citizens Advice bedroom calculator (citizensadvice.org.uk).

(We are not responsible for the content published by the Citizens Advice. Please refer to our terms and disclaimer for more information.)

Last updated: ‎13/03/2024 08:43