Claimants who live in social rented properties, including housing associations, charities and other non-profit making organisations may face a restriction on the size of property that they can occupy for housing benefit purposes.
Joint tenants are assessed in the same way as any other claimant, in that the total number of bedrooms for the property is compared against the total number of persons occupying the entire property. No account will be taken as to how the joint tenants actually divide the property.
You may wish to contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau for further information and assistance regarding managing your financial affairs.
A couple living in a three bedroom property with two children aged one and three -
Rent is £60.00 plus service charges of £20.00 (£80.00 in total). £5.00 of the service charge is ineligible so total eligible rent is £75.00.
Applying the size criteria means that the household is deemed to be under-occupying by one bedroom. A 14% reduction of £10.50 is applied to the eligible rent of £75.00 resulting in housing benefit entitlement of £64.50.
A four bedroom house is occupied by a couple, and two girls under 10 and a son aged 18 who is employed. Rent is £150.00 plus service charges of £50.00 (£200.00 in total).
£20.00 of the service charges is ineligible so total eligible rent is £180.00.
A 14% reduction is applied because they are considered to be under-occupying by one bedroom under the size criteria rules.
The eligible rent of £180.00 is reduced by 14% to £154.80. A non-dependent deduction of £11.45 is applied in respect of the son after the percentage reduction is applied. Housing benefit is £154.80 minus £11.45 is £143.35
Three adults jointly responsible for rent live in a four bedroom property The total eligible rent is £100.00 Applying the size criteria means that the household is deemed to be under-occupying by one bedroom.
A 14% under-occupancy reduction is made from the eligible rent of £100.00 (£100.00 minus £14.00) and then the remaining figure of £86.00 is apportioned three ways resulting in housing benefit entitlement for each tenant of £28.67.
For further information please contact Revenues on 01789 260991 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax on 01789 260969.