Size Restriction for Accommodation - Further information

Restriction for Accommodation let by a Registered Housing Associations or other registered landlord.

The government introduced size restrictions for working age tenants on Housing Benefit in the social sector from 1st April 2013. (If you are renting from a local authority, a registered housing association or other registered social landlord). Customers who have one spare bedroom will result in a 14% reduction in the rent allowed for HB. Customers with two or more spare bedrooms will see a 25% reduction in the rent allowed for calculating HB.

The 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.

It is possible that the amount of housing benefit you get to pay your rent could go down.

If you are assessed under these rules as having more bedrooms than is necessary for your household you will be considered to be under-occupying that property.

If you are under-occupying there will be a reduction in your housing benefit of:

  •  14% for under-occupancy by one bedroom;
  •  25% for under-occupancy by two bedrooms or more.

If you are thinking of moving you need to consider these changes before you renew or make a new tenancy agreement.

You may be able to get a Discretionary Housing Payment to make up all or some of the reduction. There will be more information about a new Discretionary Hardship Payment Policy shortly.

Where to go for more information

Directgov provides information on public service in one place including up to date information on the housing benefit changes.

  • Torridge District Council's housing benefit and/or housing options team. Torridge District Council can help you to find out exactly how these changes will affect you.
  • The Citizens Advice Bureau provides a wide range of advice.

          Visit them at:

          Bridgeland Street, Bideford

          Castle Hill, Torrington

          Manor Offices, Holsworthy

          or visit their website at www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Shelter offers confidential housing, welfare benefits and debt advice through a network of advice services. You can contact them using their freephone Housing Advice Helpline on 0808 800 4444 8am - 8pm Monday - Friday and 8am - 5pm Saturday - Sunday. Email: england.shelter.org.uk/get advice or visit their website at: www.shelter.org.uk