Spare Room Subsidy (bedroom tax)

If you live in a Council or Housing Association home and you have one or more bedrooms than you need for benefit purposes, your housing benefit may be reduced. You won’t be affected if:

  • you live in a one-bedroom flat or bedsit
  • you or your partner are old enough to receive pension credits
  • your spare room is used by students or members of the armed or reserve forces who are away and intend to return home.

The following are expected to share a bedroom:

  • an adult couple
  • two children under 16 of the same sex
  • two children under 10 (regardless of sex)

The rules will apply even if:

  • you and your partner need to sleep apart because of a medical condition
  • the main residence of your children is another address, but you have a spare room for when they stay with you

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 three children and two already share
  • children who cannot 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 up to 52 weeks from the end of the last placement
  • a newly approved foster carer up to 52 weeks from the date of approval if no child is placed with them during that time