Since April 2013 the Government has cut the amount of Housing Benefit you receive if you are a working age social housing tenant and have more bedrooms than you need under new rules.
If you have one 'spare' bedroom your Housing Benefit is reduced by 14% of your eligible rent.
If you have two or more 'spare' bedrooms, your Housing Benefit is reduced by 25% of your eligible rent.
Eligible rent is the amount used to work out your Housing Benefit entitlement and does not include charges for water rates or heating your home that may be charged by your landlord.
The rules allow for one bedroom for each of the following:
The rules allow for an extra bedroom if any of the following apply:
The Government is offering the following advice to people affected by these Size Criteria rules:
If you are unable to do any of the above you can apply for extra help from Richmond Council’s Discretionary Housing Payment scheme. However, this help is limited to a short period and can only help vulnerable people whilst they seek to move or increase their income.
We will pass this information on to your landlord and they may contact you about the help and support they can give you to move to a more suitably sized property.
If you need independent information and advice about your benefit claim you can contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau. Their local helpline is 020 8712 7800.
If a member of the household dies, and this reduces the amount of bedrooms you would be entitled to, the reduction in benefits will not apply for 12 months.
Updated: 22 June 2017