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Housing Benefit underoccupancy

The underoccupancy charge affects working age claimants living in housing association or registered social landlord properties.

How your benefit will be affected

Your Housing Benefit may be reduced if you have more bedrooms in your property than Central Government say you need. It will be reduced by:

  • 14 per cent of the total eligible rent for one bedroom too many
  • 25 per cent of the total eligible rent for two or more bedrooms too many

You will then be expected to make up this shortfall yourself.


The Underoccupancy charge does not affect you if:

  • You or your partner are over the qualifying age for State Pension Credit
  • The property is in shared ownership (for example, if you own a share of the property and rent the remainder)
  • You are placed in temporary accommodation by the council because you have been accepted as homeless
  • If you live in supported 'exempt' accommodation. This is where the accommodation is provided by a non-metropolitan county council in England, a housing association, a registered charity or voluntary organisation, and where they or someone acting on their behalf also provides you with care, support or supervision

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