Since April 2013 the eligible rent used to work out benefit could be restricted for customers living in local authority and housing association properties who are under occupying their property according to a certain size criteria. This will not affect anyone who is of pensioner age.

Size criteria

One bedroom will be allowed for each of the following household members:

  • a couple
  • a person who is not a child (aged 16 and over)
  • two children of the same sex
  • two children who are under 10
  • any other child, (other than a foster child or child whose main home is elsewhere).
  • a carer (or group of carers) providing overnight care

Who does it affect and how?

This may affect you if you are renting your property from Warwick District Council, or a Registered Social Landlord, and you are under occupying your property.

If you are under occupying your property by one bedroom then your eligible rent will be reduced by 14%. If you are under occupying your property by 2 bedrooms or more, then your eligible rent will be reduced by 25%.

If you think this may affect you then you may want to consider the following to make up the shortfall

Who is not affected?

Anyone living in a property that falls in the category below, will be exempt from the under occupancy rules, and will continue to receive housing benefit as they currently do.

  • Shared ownership – this is where someone part owns the property under a shared ownership lease and also pays rent for the other part.
  • People of pensioner age.
  • People living in houseboats, or caravans.
  • People living in temporary accommodation.
  • People living in supported ‘exempt’ accommodation.

Extra rooms in cases of disability

In some cases, an extra room may be allowed where overnight care is required in cases of disability or where two children who would normally be required to share a bedroom cannot do so because of a disability. Decisions on such cases are made on an individual basis. Please contact the housing benefit department for further information.