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Claiming housing benefit - Spare bedrooms

"Under-occupancy reductions" 

The government has reduced the amount of housing benefit paid to working age tenants who have spare bedrooms in their homes. This applies to all housing association tenants, including tenants of Golden Gates Housing Trust.

If your household details have changed and you think you are not under occupying your home, please fill in the form and send it back to us: Report a change in your household form [pdf]

There is a helpful leaflet you can read: further information about under-occupancy rules [pdf] to explain how the system works, and there is also a frequently asked questions about under-occupancy leaflet [pdf].  

Of you can read the factsheets:

There are certain situations where you will be allowed an extra bedroom:

Extra Room Allowance

You may have an extra bedroom, above the number allowed for your household, in these situations:

  1. You, your partner, a non dependant or child require a non resident overnight carer. Fill in the 'non resident overnight carer' under occupancy form [pdf] and send it back to us.
  2. You and your partner cannot share a bedroom due to disability or you have a disabled child who is unable to share a bedroom with a sibling. Fill in the under occupancy form if you have a disabled child [pdf] and send it back to us.
  3. You are a foster carer, waiting for foster children or have fostered a child in the last 12 months.  Fill in the under occupancy foster carer form [pdf] and send it back to us.
  4. You have a grown up child who has joined the Armed Forces, but still lives at home with you, who has been / is going to be deployed on operations.  Fill in the 'non dependant in the Armed Forces' under occupancy form [pdf] and send it back to us.
  5. You have lived in the same house since Jan 1996 and received housing benefit since this time with no more than four weeks break. Please call, email or visit us to tell us if you think this applies to you.

If you have adapted your home for a disability and it would be too expensive for you to move this equipment to a smaller home, then we may be able to help you with the extra amount of rent you are being charged under the under occupancy rules.  You would need to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment [pdf].

Bedroom size

The housing benefit guidance contains the provisions contained in The Housing Benefit (Amendment) Regulations 2012 "We will not be defining what we mean by a bedroom in legislation and there is no definition of a minimum bedroom size set out in regulations.  It will be up to the landlord to accurately describe the property in line with the actual rent charged."

Therefore, if you do not agree with how many bedrooms are stated on your tenancy agreement, you will need to discuss this with your landlord.

One bedroom properties

If you have been told you only need a one-bedroomed property and would like to move house, please contact Golden Gates Housing Trust as they have lots of one-bedroomed properties across the town:

  • Free phone: 0800 25 26 27 (Monday to Friday, 8am-6.30pm)
  • Mobile phone users: 01925 452 452 (standard rate)