Social Sector Size Criteria (Bedroom Tax)

Social Sector Size Criteria (often called the Bedroom Tax) affects working age people in Housing Association properties who receive Housing Benefit.

Rent restrictions apply to you as a tenant if you are deemed to have more bedrooms than you need. You are allowed one bedroom for:

  • a couple
  • an adult
  • two children of the same sex under 16
  • two children under 10
  • any other child
  • a non-resident carer providing overnight care
  • a person who normally lives with you but is deployed on active service

You can work out how many bedrooms the UK Government thinks you need.

Benefit reduction

Your housing benefit calculation will be reduced by:

  • 14% if you have 1 bedroom too many
  • 25% if you have 2 or more bedrooms too many


Some people are exempt from the criteria:

  • People of state pension age
  • Shared ownership - if you part own your property
  • If you're homeless and in temporary accommodation
  • If you receiving care in supported accommodation
  • Foster/kinship carers who need an available room
  • Non-mainstream accommodation - houseboats, caravans, mobile homes and other excluded tenancies

Other help

We can offer suggestions on how to meet any shortfall in rent or provide other  help with money and benefits .

You may also want to apply for a discretionary housing payment to help with your rent.

Page last updated: 03/01/2020
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