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Universal credit

Housing under occupancy support

If you have one spare bedroom your housing element is cut by 14% of the rent you pay every week. If you have two or more spare bedrooms, you will lose 25%. If your housing  element is reduced, you will have to pay your landlord the difference between your housing element and your rent.

What should I do if I'm affected by under occupancy?

If you are worried about being able to afford to pay your rent you should ask for advice now. If you don't pay your rent you could lose your home, so talk to your landlord about different ways to pay. You can also:

  • Talk to your housing officer about transferring to a smaller home or taking in a lodger
  • Contact us to ask about extra financial help. We have a limited amount of money available to make discretionary payments towards housing costs. We may prioritise your claim if you have a disability and your house has been adapted.
  • Consider a mutual exchange.  This is where you swap homes with another local authority or housing association tenant, but you don't have to swap like for like so you can find a smaller property.  Register with Homeswapper for a mutual exchange
  • Get in touch with your local Citizens Advice Bureau or other local advice agencies
  • Make sure you are claiming all the benefits you can - for example, money to help with the costs of a disability
  • Try to find some paid work to increase your income
  • Get more information about the cap on benefits by calling the Government's information line on 0845 605 7064

Last updated Wednesday, 25th October 2017

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