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Due to essential maintenance, the following systems will be unavailable from 6.00pm on Monday 2 October until 8.00am on Tuesday 3 October: our online council tax, business rates and housing benefit services, and our welfare assistance form. You will also not be able to register to pay council tax online, make a change of address for council tax or cancel single person discount. You are still able to make a payment during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

If you're of working age and think you may be eligible for help with your rent, you must apply for Universal Credit instead of Housing Benefit. Please note that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is responsible for Universal Credit.

How the number of bedrooms you have affects your benefit

Housing Benefit payments are affected by the number of bedrooms you have.

If you rent from a housing association

If your household has more bedrooms than the law says you need, these are classed as 'spare bedrooms', even if people use them. Your Housing Benefit will be reduced by:

  • 14% of your rent if you have one spare bedroom
  • 25% of your rent if you have more than one spare room

If you rent privately

In most cases, if you rent privately, your Housing Benefit is worked out using the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates.

Again, you will only be paid for the number of bedrooms the law says you need for your household, rather than how many you have. You can use the Local Housing Allowance: bedroom calculator to work out the LHA rate that applies to your household.

Find out about LHA rates at Claim Housing Benefit when you rent privately.