|The information on this page applies to most, but not all, private sector tenancies. If, for example, you entered into your tenancy before 1990, or live in a hostel, or get bed and board, the information might not apply. If you think that there’s anything unusual about your tenancy you should seek further advice|
It doesn’t matter to the local authority what the landlord is actually charging as rent. Instead, your eligible rent is decided purely by how many bedrooms the law says you need, and the location of the property.
Basically, the following people or groups of people are entitled to a bedroom:
- A couple
- Anyone who is 16 or older
- Two children of the same sex (and under 16)
- Two children under 10 years old
- Any other children
- A carer whose normal home is some where else but stays overnight to provide care to someone who is disabled.
There’s some big exceptions to this, unfortunately, which I’ll come to in a moment.
|Ahmed and Alisha have three children: Mohammed (15), Fatima (13) and Aziz (7). Because Mohammed and Fatima are not the same sex they get different rooms, and Aziz gets another. The family are therefore entitled to 4 bedrooms in total. Note that if the two older children were the same sex the family would only be entitled to three bedrooms.|
The main exceptions…
- If you are single or a couple and live in shared accommodation (for example, somewhere where you have to share the bathroom and kitchen with other people), you are entitled to the one bedroom shared accommodation rate: this is less than rate for a normal property with one bedroom.
- If you’re under 35 years old, have no children or partner, and you
don’t live with anyone else, you are only entitled to the one
bedroom shared accommodation rate, even if you don’t live
in shared accommodation. So if you are, say, 34, and live in a
self-contained flat with one bedroom, you get treated as though you
were only having to pay for a room in a shared house. I think this is
These exceptions sometimes don’t apply, for example they might not apply to you if you are disabled, or were living in a hostel previously.
Once you know how many bedrooms you are entitled to (or you realise that you’re only entitled to the shared rate, you then check with your local authority what the eligible rent is for a property with that number of bedrooms in the postcode where it is. That figure is the maximum Housing Benefit you can get.