Bedroom tax

From April 2023 the Government are reducing housing benefit for working age tenants in social housing  who have spare bedrooms.

We have tried to answer a few questions you may have:

What will the changes mean?
A size limit rule is being introduced to housing benefit for working age people renting from a local authority, a registered housing association or other registered social landlord. Working age means anyone under state pension credit age.

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

The new rules allow one bedroom for:

  • every adult couple (married or unmarried)
  • any other adult aged 16 or over
  • any two children of the same sex aged under 16
  • any two children aged under 10
  • any other child, (other than a foster child or child whose main home is elsewhere)
  • a carer (or team of carers) who do not live with you but provide you or your partner with overnight care.

As a result of changes made to the legislation in March 2023, the following categories will also be allowed one additional bedroom:

  • Foster carers, so long as they have fostered a child or become an approved foster carer within the last 52 weeks
  • Parents with adult children in the armed forces (or reservists) who normally live with them will be able to retain the bedroom for that adult child when they are deployed on operations
  • Parents with a disabled child who is unable to share a bedroom.

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When will the changes affect me?
The new size limit rules will start on 1 April 2023.

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How might the changes affect me?
It is possible that the amount of Housing Benefit you get to pay your rent and any service charges could go down.

If, under these new rules, it is decided that you have more bedrooms than are necessary for your household your housing benefit will be reduced by:

  • 14 per cent of your eligible rent if you have one extra bedroom
  • 25 per cent of your eligible rent if you have two or more extra bedrooms.

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What should I do now?
If you will be affected by the size criteria changes, you should think about whether or not you will still be able to afford your rent. Here are some things you can do:

  • Look at finding work or increasing your hours.
  • Move to a smaller home.
  • Save money from somewhere else and work out a budget plan with the assistance of our Welfare Reform Team.
  • Consider taking in  a lodger to fill the extra room. You can have a lodger as long as you let us know, but you must declare this extra income when you claim benefits. This can affect your benefit levels so speak to our Welfare Reform Team for more information.

Apply to the Discretionary Housing Payment Fund. Contact Lambeth Council for more information.

We can help you

For information or advice about changes to benefits contact our Welfare Reform team:

Call: 020 7926 3895 or 020 7926 1939

Email: Citenquiries@lambethliving.org.uk

In person: Central Income Team, The Springfield Centre, Second floor, 110 Union Road, SW8 2SH