In April 2013 the Government introduced a tax on spare bedrooms for people living in housing association properties. This means your housing benefit will be reduced if you have any spare bedrooms.
The reduction is:
- 14% of the ‘eligible rent’ for 1 spare bedroom
- 25% of the ‘eligible rent’ for 2 or more spare bedrooms
Example reduced housing benefit
Your eligible rent is £100 per week. Housing Benefit pays £50 and you pay £50. You have 1 spare bedroom so the reduction is 14%. This means your Housing Benefit will be reduced by £14 per week.
The following are expected to share:
- an adult couple
- 2 children under 16 of the same sex
- 2 children under 10 (regardless of sex)
The following can have their own bedroom:
- a single adult (16 or over)
- a child that would normally share but shared bedrooms are already taken, for example you have 3 children and 2 already share
- children who can’t share because of a disability or medical condition
- a non-resident overnight carer for you or your partner (but only if they must stay overnight)
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.
If you want to move to a smaller property, register at Homeswapper and you can search for properties available.