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Council tax reduction / rent restrictions

If you are of working age, your council tax reduction will be limited to a maximum of 83% of your council tax liability before any deductions due to income and savings.

Your eligible council tax will be reduced if you (and your partner) have other adults living with you (non-dependent deductions). This is because they are expected to help pay the costs.

Rent restriction – private landlord

If you are renting from a private landlord and you claimed on or after 7 April 2008 your claim will be dealt with under the local housing allowance legislation.

If you are renting from a private landlord and you originally claimed prior to 7 April 2008 and you are still resident at the same address we will continue to refer your rent annually to the rent officer. They will tell us the average local rent cost of a home for your needs. We will assess your benefit on this figure and not the actual amount you are paying in rent. You will need to pay the difference from your own income.

The rent officer may agree the rent, or restrict it. They could decide it is too expensive, bigger than your needs or has charges in the rent that are not eligible for benefit, such as water rates or fuel charges.

If you are single and aged under 35 special rules apply. The rent officer will restrict your rent to the average “market value” of a single room with shared use of a living room, kitchen and bathroom.

If you do not agree with the rent officers decision, you should write to us and ask us to have it looked at again. A rent officer from another area will look at the decision again.

Your eligible rent will also be reduced if you (and your partner) have other adults living with you (non-dependent deductions). This is because they are expected to contribute to the costs.

Rent restrictions – social landlord

If you are renting from a social landlord (housing association or council tenant) and you are deemed to have spare bedrooms in your home, then the eligible rent used in your housing benefit calculation will be restricted.

The restriction will be 14% if you have one spare bedroom or 25% if you have two or more spare bedrooms. This restriction only applies to tenants of working age.

Tenants will be allowed one bedroom for all of the following who live in their household:

  • a couple
  • a person over 16
  • two children of the same sex aged under 16
  • two children of any sex who are younger than 10
  • any other single child under 16

Extra rooms will also be allowed for the following:

  • armed forces personnel – adult children who are in the armed forces, but who continue to live with parents will be allowed a room, even when deployed abroad on long term operations
  • disabled children – disabled children who can not share due to severe disability, where the other sibling would have their sleep regularly disturbed if they had to share a room, will be allowed an extra room
  • foster children – approved foster carers will now be allowed a room for a foster child, even if they do not currently have a child placed with them, so long as they have fostered a child in the last 12 months or become an approved foster carer in the last 12 months

Tenants who have more bedrooms than they are allowed under the above formula will have their housing benefit restricted accordingly.

Additional help

If the rent restriction is causing you financial hardship, you may qualify for a discretionary housing payment. Discretionary housing payments cannot be claimed for shortfalls in your council tax.

Page updated on: 5 June 2019

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