What’s the maximum number of bedrooms you can claim when receiving housing benefit?
From April 2011,the maximum number of bedrooms you will be allowed to claim for will be four bedrooms.
This has been reduced inline with the Governments plans to change the housing benefit system. Before the changes in April 2011 housing benefit claimant were allowed to claim rates for up to five bedrooms.
If you are already getting the five bedroom rate, your benefit will be re-assessed nine months after the anniversary of your claim or possibly sooner if your circumstances change. This will result in you receiving less housing benefit then you were previously.
You can still rent a larger house with more bedrooms, but you will only get benefit up to the maximum level for four bedrooms. It is likely that there will be a shortfall between your rent and the amount of housing benefit you receive.
If you are under 25, you will only be entitled to the single shared room rate, which is lower than the rate for a one bedroom property. This lower rate applies even if you can’t find shared accommodation in your area.