Extra bedrooms

Under occupancy

If you live in a council or housing association home and claim Housing Benefit to help you pay your rent, your Housing Benefit may be reduced if your home is considered too large for you. The use of size criteria for under-occupation is widely known as “the bedroom tax” though it is a reduction of benefit rather than a tax we issue bills for.

You can calculate how many bedrooms you are eligible for on the DirectGov website.

Will I be affected?

If you are under occupying, there will be a reduction in your Housing Benefit. The amount allowed for rent and any service charges will be reduced by:

  • 14% for under occupancy by 1 bedroom
  • 25% for under occupancy by 2 bedrooms or more. 

Help to cover the reduction

You may be able to get a Discretionary Housing Payment to make up all or some of the reduction.

Download discretionary housing payment application form (PDF)

We can only award the payment if you already get housing benefit, or Universal Credit which covers housing costs.