Get Help With Your Rent

Room Restrictions and Sharing Bedrooms

Social Sector Size Criteria (also known as room restriction, bedroom tax or removal of spare room subsidy)

If you rent your home from a council or housing association, the amount of Housing Benefit or Housing Element you receive may be affected by the number of bedrooms your home has and the number of bedrooms it is deemed you 'need'. If you have more bedrooms than you need, your benefit will be reduced by the following amounts;

1 spare room 14% of eligible rent
2 or more spare rooms 25% of eligible rent

Sharing bedrooms

The following are expected to share;

  • an adult couple
  • two children of the same sex and both under 16 years
  • two children of any sex and both under 10 years


The following are entitled to an extra bedroom;

  • Couple or children who cannot share due to a disability or medical condition
  • An overnight carer (where the carer does not live with you but has to stay overnight)
  • Those over the age of 16 years
  • A child who would normally have to share but all shared bedrooms are taken (for example you have 3 children and 2 are already sharing)

If you are unsure if you meet the criteria for exemption, seek advice. The rules can be complex and an experienced advisor can help you make sure you are in the right category.

If you are affected

If you are affected by the social sector size criteria, you may wish to consider the following;