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Under occupation

Rules on 'under occupancy' mean that if you are of 'working age' your housing benefit or universal credit housing costs will be reduced if you are deemed to be living in a property larger than your needs.

One bedroom is allowed for the following:

  • for a couple
  • for a person aged 16 or over
  • for two children aged under 16 of the same sex
  • for two children aged under 10 (boys and girls are expected to share a room)
  • for any other child
  • if you or your partner needs an overnight carer to stay.

If you are under occupying your property (for benefit purposes) by one bedroom, your housing benefit or universal credit housing costs will be cut by 14% of the total rent. If you are under occupying by two or more bedrooms, it will be cut by 25%.

If you are struggling to pay your rent, you should contact our money matters advisors straight away. They are here to help you and the sooner you contact them, the more help they can give. You can contact them on 0800 9996130 or email them.

The size reduction for households with extra bedrooms does not apply to:

  • people of pension age
  • people living in shared ownership properties
  • people living in some types of supported accommodation.

Thinking of downsizing?

If you have a spare room you don't need anymore, why not look into moving to a smaller home?