The number of bedrooms allowed under Housing Benefit and the Housing Costs element of Universal Credit depends on your age, the age and sex of your children, whether any other adults live with you, whether you qualify for an extra room because you have special circumstances and whether you are a private or social tenant. Under-occupation does not affect private tenants as Local Housing Allowance dictates the maximum rent they can receive help with.
The basic rules are that one bedroom is allowed for each of the following:
Households with adult children in the armed services will be treated as if those children are living at home, even if they are deployed on operations. Their bedroom allowance will be worked out as if they were living at home in the normal way.
For full details on bedroom entitlement if you have a non-dependant, boarder, lodger or sub-tenant living with you please see our Bedroom entitlement help page.
The number of bedrooms a household needs can be increased by one in certain circumstances. The rules in this area are complicated and you may need to take advice on your individual situation.
You may qualify for an extra bedroom if your household includes:
The rules in relation to people who need overnight care specify that you must have a non-resident carer to qualify and you must already have an extra bedroom in your home available for your carer.
If you have a severely disabled adult or child in your household who is unable to share a room because of their disability, they are entitled to their own room in the bedroom calculation.
Approved foster carers are entitled to an extra bedroom between placements if they have fostered a child, or became a foster parent, within the last 12 months.
If you qualify for an extra room under one of these circumstances please say 'yes' to the question on the calculator about including an extra room in your entitlement and we will calculate your bedroom allowance on this basis.
The bedroom entitlement rules do not apply to:
If you live in social housing and are affected you can get more information from our Questions and Answers on under occupation.
There are two protected groups of social housing tenants, where your full rent will be met by Housing Benefit for a period even if you are under occupying your home. At the end of the protection period, you will have your Housing Benefit restricted if you are still under occupying.