The number of people who live with you as members of your household determines how many bedrooms you need and the size of the accommodation you will qualify for under Local Housing Allowance rules. Other rooms such as living rooms, kitchens or toilets are not included in Local Housing Allowance rules.
Couples are entitled to a bedroom under Local Housing Allowance rules. If they do not have any dependants then this means they get the 1 bedroom rate, unless they share facilities with other joint tenants in which case they get the shared accommodation rate of Local Housing Allowance.
By couple we mean a man and a woman who are married or living together as if they are married, or two people of the same sex who are Civil Partners of each other or who are living together as if they were Civil Partners, and are members of the same household.
Single people aged 35 or over are entitled to a bedroom under Local Housing Allowance rules in the same way as couples. Like couples, if they share facilities with other joint tenants they get the shared accommodation rate of Local Housing Allowance.
Single people aged under 35 are limited to the shared room rate of Local Housing Allowance. For more information see shared accommodation rate.
The number of bedrooms allowed for children under Local Housing Allowance depends on how old they are and their sex.
The rules assume that:
two children aged 0-9 can share a bedroom whatever their sex
two children aged 10-15 can share a bedroom if they are the same sex
Children aged 16-19 and adults
Children aged 16-19 are counted as needing their own bedroom.
If your household includes adults who are part of your family (such as a grown-up child or a parent) then they should also be included in this category. If any of the adults who live with you are in a couple then they count as one adult for Local Housing Allowance. When entering the number of adults who live with you do not include yourself or your partner, any joint tenants or your landlord).
If your household includes adults who live with you the amount of Housing Benefit you get may be reduced if they are classified as non-dependants.
Joint tenants that share facilities
If you have a tenancy agreement where you and one or more other people are jointly liable for paying the rent then you are a joint tenant. This will be the case where you have one tenancy agreement covering a number of people.
For more information on how Local Housing Allowance rules could affect you please see joint tenants.
Recently left care, severely disabled or have a carer who stays overnight
If you receive the Severe Disability Premium in any of your benefits or if you are a care leaver aged under 22 then there are special rules that could exempt you from the shared accommodation rate.
If you have a carer who stays overnight you could qualify for an extra room in your bedroom entitlement. To qualify you must already have an extra bedroom in your home available for your carer and you, or your partner, must be in need of overnight care.
If any of these conditions apply to you then please contact your local council for information on your entitlement.