BEDROOM TAX: Will you pay?
THE under-occupancy rules apply to working-age social housing tenants on housing benefit.
If you have one spare bedroom the eligible rent for calculating housing benefit will be reduced by 14 per cent.
If you have two spare bedrooms the eligible rent for calculating housing benefit will be reduced by 25 per cent.
You are allowed one bedroom for:
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Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
Every adult couple (married or unmarried).
Any other adult aged 16 or over.
Any two children of the same sex under 16.
Any two children under 10.
Any other child (but not a foster child or child whose main home is elsewhere).
A carer (or team of carers) who do not live with you but who provide you or your partner with overnight care.
If you are assessed under these rules as having more bedrooms than you need you will be considered to be under-occupying the property.
People who will not be affected are those:
Who have reached the qualifying age for state pension credit.
In temporary accommodation.
In supported exempt accommodation.
In excluded tenancies and mooring charges for boats and site rents for caravans.
In shared ownership properties.
People who have experienced a death in the household will not have the under-occupation rules applied for up to 52 weeks from the date of the death.
You may be able to get a discretionary housing payment to make up all or some of the reduction.
Contact the Plymouth City Council housing benefit office for an application form for a discretionary payment.
The Government has made an additional £30million available to the discretionary housing payment fund to help people living in significantly adapted accommodation and foster carers. Taking in a lodger means that housing benefit would no longer consider the room to be spare.
The first £20 of weekly income from a lodger is ignored and won't affect your benefits.
Part-time workers will also have some of their earnings ignored in working out housing benefit, depending on their circumstances.