The Spare Room Subsidy, also known as the ‘Bedroom Tax’ and ‘Under Occupancy Charge’, affects anyone of working age who receives Housing Benefit or Universal Credit (housing costs) and is considered to be under-occupying their housing association or Council home.
There are a number of rules about what classes as a taxable spare bedroom, including:
- Children of both sexes aged under 10 are expected to share a bedroom. If they do not share and stay in separate rooms, one of the rooms will be considered spare
- Children of the same gender aged under 16 would be expected to share a bedroom
- Couples and adults are allowed to have bedrooms of their own.
Having one spare bedroom will mean you lose 14% of your Housing Benefit / Universal Credit.
Having two or more spare bedrooms will mean you will lose 25% of your entitlement.
If you are affected by the Spare Room Subsidy, you will need to make arrangements to pay the difference between your Housing Benefit entitlement and the rent / service charge you pay.
The Spare Room Subsidy will not affect you if you receive a state pension or rent a shared ownership property.
If you are experiencing financial hardship, or need advice on benefits, please contact us.