Eligible rent

Getting Help with Your Rent

You may be able to get help with all or part of your rent.

However, there is no set amount of housing benefit. What you will get also depends on whether you rent socially or privately. See Local Housing Allowance for more information.

Your Housing Benefit may be reduced, if you live in council or social housing and have a spare bedroom. The reduction is:

  • 14% of the ‘eligible rent’ for 1 spare bedroom
  • 25% of the ‘eligible rent’ for 2 or more spare bedrooms

The phrase ‘eligible rent’ means the reasonable rent, with service charges, for a suitable property in your area. 

To work out whether your property has a ‘spare’ bedroom, the following are expected to share:

  • an adult couple
  • 2 children under 16 of the same sex
  • 2 children under 10 (regardless of sex)

Whereas the following would be expected to have their own bedroom:

  • a single adult (16 or over)
  • a child that would normally share but shared bedrooms are already taken, for example you have 3 children and 2 already share
  • in some cases a couple or children who can’t share because of disability or a medical condition
  • in some cases an overnight carer for you, your partner, your child or another adult - if the carer doesn’t live with you but sometimes has to stay overnight

A bedroom is also allowed for:

  • an approved foster carer, who is between placements ( up to 52 weeks from the end of the last placement)
  • a newly approved foster carer ( up to 52 weeks from the date of approval), if no child is placed with them during that time

Rooms used by students and members of the armed or reserve forces will not be counted as ‘spare’ if they’re away and intend to return home.