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The Bedroom Tax

The bedroom ‘size criteria’ rule, or ‘bedroom tax’ as it is more commonly known, restricts the size of accommodation that housing benefit or universal credit can cover the rental costs for, based on the number of people in your household.

The bedroom tax applies if you are of working age and renting from a local authority, a registered housing association or other registered social landlord.

Working age means anyone under the qualifying age for pension credit (this is being raised from 60 to 66 between April 2010 and October 2020). You are not affected by the bedroom tax if you or your partner are claiming housing benefit and have reached pension credit qualifying age. However, you may be affected if you are a member of a couple claiming universal credit and just one of has reached pension credit qualifying age

The bedroom tax applies in Scotland, but the Scottish government has allowed for an extension of discretionary housing payments (DHPs) to cover tenants who would otherwise lose out. You need to apply for a DHP to receive this support. Similar measures are likely to be in place in Northern Ireland until at least 2020.

How many bedrooms are you allowed?

How the bedroom tax might affect you

Discretionary housing payments

Where can I get more help or information?

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For further information on welfare rights, education issues and social care you will find our factsheets/guides here or for more detailed information you can order a copy of the Disability Rights Handbook from our shop