The amount of housing benefit (or housing cost element of Universal Credit) you receive may be reduced if you are:
- under state pension age and
- rent from the council or a housing association and
- have one or more extra bedrooms and your home is assessed as under occupied.
A home is classed as under occupied if you have more bedrooms than the government say you require.
The government rules allow one bedroom for:
- each adult couple (married and unmarried)
- any other person aged 16 or over
- two children of the same sex under the age of 16
- two children under 10 regardless of their sex
- any other child
- a foster child
- adult children who serve in the armed forces who continue to live with their parents
- a disabled child or disabled non-dependant adult who requires and receives overnight care from a non-resident carer (or group of carers)
- a couple who are unable to share a bedroom because of their disabilities
You will not be assessed as requiring an extra bedroom if:
- your child/children's main home is at another address.
Where under-occupancy arise due to a death in the household, no reduction will be applied for one year.
If you are assessed as having an extra bedroom, there will be a reduction in your housing benefit (or housing cost element of Universal Credit) by:
- 14% for under occupancy by one bedroom
- 25% for under occupancy by two bedrooms or more.
If your housing benefit (or housing cost element of Universal Credit) is reduced because of the bedroom tax rules you should apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment. The Scottish Government have made funds available to local authorities to fully mitigate the bedroom tax.
If you require further advice in relation to the bedroom tax or other benefits then please contact our welfare rights service.