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Housing Benefit and the size criteria (bedroom tax)

Find out about the size criteria (bedroom tax) and how this might affect your Housing Benefit.

Welfare Reform - Housing benefit

What is bedroom tax?

If you've 1 spare bedroom your Housing Benefit will be cut by 14% of your rent. If you've 2 spare bedrooms your Housing Benefit will be cut by 25% of your rent.

This only applies if you live in a Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH) or another housing association home. If you're a private tenant, your housing benefit won't be reduced due to bedroom tax.

Under the new government rules, 1 bedroom is allocated for:

  • A couple.
  • One member of a couple where they're unable to share a bedroom due to their disabilities
  • A person who is aged 16 and over.
  • 2 children of the same sex up to the age of 16.
  • 2 children who are under 10.
  • Any other child other than a foster child or child whose main home is elsewhere.
  • Approved foster carers where a child has been fostered or the claimant has been approved in the previous 12 months. 
  • A non-resident carer or group of carers providing overnight care - from 1 April 2017 this care can be for a disabled child or disabled non-dependant adult as well as for the tenant or their partner.
  • Severely disabled children who are unable to share a room with their siblings - exemptions can apply where certain disability benefits are in payment.
  • An adult son or daughter who normally lives with you who is currently deployed on operations and who intends to return home.

How could bedroom tax affect you?

Use the welfare reform calculator to see how you could be affected.

If you're affected by bedroom tax and your Housing Benefit doesn’t cover your rent, you’ll be expected to pay your landlord the difference.

Welfare reform calculator

What to do if you're affected by bedroom tax?

Here are some things you may wish to consider if you're affected by bedroom tax:

Changes to Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit will ​be paid direct to people of working age through Universal Credit. This means that you'll have to make arrangements to pay your rent to your landlord.

This started in October 2013 for new claims, with existing claimants being moved onto ‘Universal Credit’ from April 2014.

If you want to find out more about these changes and how you can get ready for them, please contact your landlord.

More information on Universal Credit


Related pages


0300 303 8870

Phone: Monday-Friday 8.30am-5.30pm.
Closed for training Monday 11am-11.30am.

Postal address
Revenues and Benefits Service
PO Box 490
Rochdale OL16 9AJ