The under occupation charge (bedroom tax)

If you have one ‘spare’ bedroom your housing benefit will now be cut by 14% and if you have two or more ‘spare’ bedrooms you will lose 25%.

If you are affected by the under occupation charge and your housing benefit is cut, you will have to pay your landlord (Catalyst) the difference between your housing benefit and your rent.

The government’s new rules allow one bedroom for:

  • Each adult couple
  • Any other person aged 16 or over
  • Two children of the same sex under the age of 16
  • Two children, regardless of sex, under the age of 10
  • Any other child
  • A carer who has a home elsewhere but regularly stays overnight to care for the benefit claimant or their partner

The new rules will apply even if:

  • You and your partner need to sleep apart because of a medical condition or for some other reason
  • Your children live at another address and you have a spare room for when they stay with you

This could affect you if:

  • You are of working age (aged 16 to 61 years old)
  • You are only claiming a small amount of housing benefit because, for example, you are working
  • Even if you are sick or disabled

This won’t affect you if:

  • You or your partner are old enough to receive pension credit
  • You live in a shared ownership property, or sheltered or supported housing scheme
  • You are a foster carer
  • you are a parent of a teenager in the armed forces