Bedroom Tax

You may have heard about the Government’s Welfare Reform (changes in the Benefit System) where they have introduced the ‘Bedroom Tax’ ….but are not sure how it affects you.

Here is a brief summary with links to more information:

Cornwall Council Underoccupation leaflet coverWhat is it?

The ‘Removal of the spare room subsidy’ or ‘ Bedroom Tax’ is a set of rules introduced by the Government in April 2013, reducing your Housing Benefit if you are renting a property with more bedrooms than government says you need.

The rules say that you need one bedroom per:


  • adult couple
  • single person (over 16yrs)
  • two children of the same sex (up to 16yrs)
  • two children regardless of their sex (under 10yrs)
  • any other child (main residence only)
  • a carer (if overnight care is needed)

Underoccupation diagram


If you have one ‘spare’ bedroom, your housing benefits will be cut by 14%.

If you have two or more spare bedrooms you will lose 25%.

These rules apply to anyone of working age in receipt of housing benefit, even if you only get a small amount of housing benefit, are sick or disabled…. but not if you live in a one bedroom flat/bedsit or if you receive pension credit.

You will need to pay the shortfall in rent to Ocean.




Cornwall Council have lots of useful information.

Icon phone sml Tel Benefit Line 0300 1234 121


Icon online form sml  Read the Cornwall Council Leaflet
Icon online form sml  Visit the Cornwall Council website