Melton Borough Council

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Under occupancy

Housing benefit reductions for spare bedrooms

From April 2013, the Government is introduced size limit rules that affect working age people in receipt of housing benefit. Therefore if you live in a council or housing association home and you have one or more 'spare' bedrooms, your housing benefit may be reduced. This is called 'under occupancy' or may also be known as 'the bedroom tax'.

The new rules will restrict the size of accommodation you can receive housing benefit for, based on the number of people in your household.

This could affect you if:

  • If you live in a council or housing association property
  • If you are aged 16 - 61 years old (currently classed as 'working age')
  • Even if you get a small amount of benefit - if you are working
  • If you are of working age but are sick or disabled

But you won't be affected if:

  • You or your partner are old enough to receive pension credits. In April 2013 the pension credit age will be around 61 years and six months
  • You live in a one bedroom flat or bedsit
  • You have a shared ownership property
  • You live in supported exempt accommodation
  • You pay boat mooring charges or caravan site rent
  • You have been placed in temporary accommodation by the council as you are homeless