Bedroom requirements

Your bedroom requirement is the amount of bedrooms you need based on Housing Benefit regulations and the people living in your house.

One room for each:

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

The following can 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 three children and two already share
  • children who can’t share because of a disability or medical condition. You will need to provide proof of the disability or medical condition and will need to prove how the disability or medical condition prevents the child from sharing a room. You can only get the extra room for a  disabled child if you have an extra room in the property. The child must be in receipt of disability living allowance at a higher rate or personal independent payments for care and we must receive a letter from the doctor
  • a non-resident carer for you or your partner who needs to stay overnight. You will need to provide medical proof that an overnight carer is required and that regular overnight care is provided

One spare bedroom is also allowed for:

  • an approved foster carer who is between placements but only for up to 52 weeks from the end of the last placement
  • a newly approved foster carer for 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 are temporarily away and intend to return home.

Example 1:

A claimant lives with her 19 year old brother and two sons aged 9 and 11. The brother is not a joint-tenant. One bedroom for the claimant, one bedroom for the brother and one bedroom for the sons to share. This equals three bedrooms.

Example 2:

A claimant lives with his partner, his 68 year old mother, three daughters (8, 16 and 17) and one son aged 9. The mother is not a joint-tenant.

One bedroom for the claimant and partner, one bedroom for the mother, one bedroom for two under 10s to share, one bedroom for the 16 year old and one bedroom for the 17 year old. This equals four bedrooms. Although it appears that they require five bedrooms, the Local Housing Allowance has a maximum four bedroom rate.