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Under Occupation Reduction

Under Occupation Reduction

If you are worried that the benefit changes will reduce the money you have coming in, it's a good idea to start thinking ahead.

For example, you could get a benefits check on your current entitlement and see whether there is any transitional protection available. You could also get some advice about budgeting as the new Universal Credit is going to be paid monthly.

What is Under Occupation Reduction?

With effect from April 2013 the amount of Housing Benefit you get to pay your rent will be based on the number of bedrooms your household needs.

(The size criteria used will be the same as used in Local Housing Allowance (LHA).

Who does Housing Benefit Under Occupation affect?

If you are the tenant of a Local Authority, a Registered Housing Association or other registered social landlord.

The size limit will affect anyone who is of working age.

What does working age mean?

Anyone aged between 16 and the minimum qualifying age for State Pension Credit.

How many bedrooms am I entitled to?

We work this out by taking into account the number of people who live with you, and their ages.

We do not count other rooms such as living rooms, kitchens or bathrooms.

The number of bedrooms you are entitled to is then used to work out the maximum social rent that applies to you.

The usual rules are that you are entitled to one bedroom for:

  • every adult couple (married or unmarried)
  • any other adult aged 16 or over
  • 2 children of the same sex aged under 16
  • 2 children aged under 10
  • any other child (other than a foster child or child whose main home is elsewhere)
  • a carer (or group of carers) who do not live with you but provide you or your partner with overnight care
What happens if I am under-occupying my home?

If you are assessed as having more bedrooms than is necessary for your household you will be considered to be under-occupying your property.

A reduction will be applied to your Housing Benefit of:

  • 14% of the total eligible rent for under-occupation by 1 bedroom
  • 25% of the total eligible rent for under-occupation by 2 bedrooms or more

You may be able to get a Discretionary Housing Payment to make up all or some of the reduction - refer to our Discretionary Housing Payments page.

For Further Information Contact

Revenue Services
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 450000
Email: