What is Bedroom Tax / Spare room subsidy?

 

The government  introduced new rules about the number of bedrooms households need.  From April 2013, the amount of Housing Benefit paid for social housing residents, including Sadeh Lok residents, has been reduced if residents have more bedrooms than they need.bt

How do the new rules affect you?

This could affect you:

  • if you are 16 to 61 years old
  • even if you only get a small amount of housing benefit – for example, if you are working
  • even if you are sick or disabled

You won’t be affected if:

  • you live in a one bedroom flat or bedsit, or if
  • you or your partner are old enough to receive pension credits.  Please note this is not the same as state retirement age.

 Are you seen to have too many bedrooms?

If you have more bedrooms than you need, the maximum Housing Benefit you can receive will be reduced by:Calculator

  • 14% of your rent if you have one extra bedroom
  • 25% of your rent if you have two or more extra bedrooms
  •  

Use our 'bedroom tax calculator' to find out how you might be affected.  

 

You will be expected to pay the extra amount yourself.

Click on the calculator to find out how many bedrooms you are entitled to.

What will be allowed under the new rules?

Some examples:

  • one bedroom allowed for a couple or a single adult
  • two children of different sexes aged under 10 are expected to share a bedroom
  • two children of the same sex aged under 16 are expected to share a bedroom

Exemptions may apply if your child is disabled

 

A single person or couple with two bedrooms will get a 14% cut in Housing Benefit

 

In a three bedroom home they will get a 25% cut in Housing Benefit

 

A single parent or couple with three bedrooms and two children under 10 will get a 14% cut in Housing Benefit

 

In a four bedroom home they will get a 25% cut in Housing Benefit

A single parent or couple with three bedrooms with two boys or two girl under 16 will get a 14% cut in Housing Benefit

 

In a four bedroom home they will get a 25% cut in Housing Benefit

 

A single person or couple living with one other person with three bedrooms will get 14% less

 

In a four bedroom home they will get a 25% cut in Housing Benefit in Housing Benefit

 

 

I have a spare bedroom – what can I do?

If you are affected by these changes it is important that you consider very carefully how you are going to deal with this.

Not paying the shortfall in your rent is not an option as this could result in losing your home.

Options available include:

  • Apply for Discretionary Housing Payments. This is not a permanent solution but may help you to make up the difference for a few months if you qualify.
  • Pay the shortfall (the difference between your Housing Benefit and your rent) to Sadeh Lok
  • Take in a lodger to help pay your rent. However if you are considering this option check with us first as this may affect your Housing Benefit.  You can advertise for a lodger free of charge using the LETSHELPYOU website.  There is even a lodger agreement for you to download.
  • Move to a small property.  This may be by applying to Sadeh Lok for a transfer to a smaller home or finding a home with another landlord.
  • You could also apply to exchange homes with another tenant who is looking for a larger home. This is called a mutual exchange.
  • Look for work or work extra hours to increase your income

 

If your benefit has been reduced and you need help or advice or are struggling to pay your rent please contact the Income Team on 01484 435715.