Does Bedroom Tax Affect You If You Rent Privately?

If you rent privately and wish to know whether you will be affected by the Bedroom Tax, you will find the answer to your question in the following blog post. In addition to this, we will also discuss the potential implications of the Bedroom Tax and how to calculate the amount that can affect your benefits payments.

Does Bedroom Tax Affect You If You Rent Privately?

Yes, contrary to popular belief, the Bedroom Tax affects you if you are renting privately and claiming the housing element of Universal Credit or Housing Benefit.

Bedroom Tax is a policy that was introduced in 2013 that requires people on certain benefits to pay more if they’re deemed to be “under-occupying” their homes. In other words, if you have extra bedrooms that you’re not using, you may be required to pay more in rent.

The amount that you must forego from your benefits claims for housing costs depends on the Local Housing Allowance that applies to your area. For instance, in Hackney Council, the LHA rates are applied as follows:

AreaShared1 bedroom2 bedroom3 bedroom4 bedroom
Central London£154.19£295.49£365.92£441.86£593.75
Inner East London£136.50£295.49£365.92£441.86£585.70
Inner North London£147.29£295.49£365.92£441.86£593.75

The Bedroom Tax has been controversial, to say the least. On one side, critics argue that it disproportionately affects low-income households and does not address the underlying issue of the housing shortage. 

However, many local economists and the Government defend the policy, as it helps to make better use of social housing and discourages private renters claiming benefits to meet their housing costs from living in houses larger than their needs.

How Does Bedroom Tax Affect You If You Rent Privately?

The Bedroom Tax will only affect you if you rent privately and meet the following conditions:

  • have a spare bedroom in your house
  • are of working age
  • receive the housing element of Universal Credit or Housing Benefit

If you have a spare bedroom in your rented house, the DWP will take the Local Housing Allowance rates that apply to you and based on these, your benefits payments will be reduced. Your LHA rate depends on the following factors:

  • your age
  • who you live with
  • rent levels that apply to your area
  • if you have a disability or care history

You can use an online calculator to get an estimate of the amount of reduction you may be faced with.

Can You Get The 1 Bed LHA Rate To Reduce Bedroom Tax?

Yes, you can get the 1 Bed LHA rate to reduce the Bedroom Tax that can affect your benefits claim for housing costs. However, you should be able to meet the below-listed conditions:

  • live with your partner
  • a care leaver under 25
  • experienced domestic abuse
  • lived in a hostel or refuge for at least 3 months
  • receive disability benefits 
  • a former prisoner aged 25 to 34 covered by MAPPA
  • a survivor of modern slavery


The above discussion helps to conclude that private renters are affected by the Bedroom Tax through the reduction of the benefits they claim for their housing costs only if they are over-occupying a property.


How to deal with the bedroom tax – Shelter England

Calculate how many bedrooms you are eligible for: DirectGov – LHA Rates

Housing Benefit: What you’ll get – GOV.UK

Bedroom Tax affecting private landlords?!!!