Living in Social Housing and worried about the Bedroom Tax? Take in a Lodger.
If you’re currently living in social housing and have a room that has been made vacant by an older child moving out, you are probably aware of the bedroom tax.
According to Shelter, “The bedroom tax is a cut in housing benefit or the universal credit housing element if you're:
classed as having a spare bedroom
a council or housing association tenant
If you take in a friend or a family member, and they do not pay any rent, then you will not be impacted by the bedroom tax. Those above state pensionable age are also exempt from the bedroom tax. You can check on the government’s state pension age tool to find out when you will be exempt.
In the case of sharing with a lodger, the way that income from lodgers is treated can vary depending on the benefit.
For pension credit, for example, the first £20 per week from lodger income is disregarded, and then 50% of any income above the first £20 is take into account.
For other benefits (including council tax reduction, housing benefit, universal credit, and employment & support allowance) the rules are different and can depend on the specific circumstances of the lodging agreement and which other benefits the claimant receives.
If you’re concerned about how taking in a lodger may impact on your benefits, Citizens Advice can carry out FREE speculative benefit calculation to advise people on how having a lodger would affect your benefits.