Bedrooms and under occupancy

What can I do if my benefits are cut?

If you are assessed as having too many bedrooms (known as under-occupying) in your home, and your housing benefit is cut, you have a number of options:

Stay in your current home and make up the rent shortfall yourself

There are a number of ways you can make up your rent shortfall, including taking in a lodger, or working more hours.

Increase your hours or get a job If it is possible, you may want to consider increasing your working hours to make up the shortfall in your rent. Or, if you aren't currently working, you may want to think about getting a job. Before doing this, we recommend you read our fact sheet about additional income.

Ask non-dependent adults to contribute to the rent You may have grown up children or adults living with you (your parents for example). To help meet your extra housing costs, you may want to think about asking them to contribute.

Take in a lodger Taking in a lodger to fill an extra bedroom may be a good option. The lodger would be assessed as part of your household, which means you my not be considered to have too many rooms (under-occupying). You'll also have more income due to the extra rent. Before considering taking in a lodger, you'll need to speak to your landlord, and we also recommend you read our following factsheet fact sheet about lodgers.

Move to a smaller home

Rather than meet your shortfall in rent, you may feel it is better to move to a smaller home.

Your housing association/landlord will be able to talk this through with you and let you know whether this is possible.

If there aren't any smaller housing association homes available, you may decide that moving to a private rented home is more appropriate.

Again your housing association/landlord will be able to advise you about this. Our housing team can also provide advice and guidance on moving to a private rented home.