If two people are unable to share a bedroom due to disability.
• If your local council (for Housing Benefit) or the DWP (for Universal Credit) accept that if, because of a child’s disability, there would be disruption to the sleep of another child if they shared a bedroom, then the disabled child can be allocated their own bedroom if they are getting the middle or high rate care component of Disability Living Allowance.
• From 1 April 2017, similar rules apply to couples. If, due to one member of the couple’s physical or mental disability, they cannot reasonably share a bedroom, they will be allocated an extra bedroom. This could be, for example, because the disabled person has to sleep in a special bed, cannot share this with their partner and there is no room in the bedroom for another bed, or equipment such as a hoist means that there is only room for one single bed, or because the non-disabled partner has their sleep disrupted frequently due to their partner’s disability. The disabled person must be in receipt of the Daily Living Component of Personal Independence Payment, the middle or high rate care component of Disability Living Allowance, the High Rate of Attendance Allowance or Armed Forces Independence Payment.
A room for an overnight carer.
• If you or your partner are disabled, any room needed for sleeping in by a carer (who does not normally live with you) who cares for you or your partner ‘regularly’ (it’s up to the council / the DWP to decide if it is ‘regularly’) can be allocated a bedroom. For Universal Credit the person requiring the care must be getting either Personal Independence Payment (daily living component) or the middle or high rate care component of Disability Living Allowance.
• From 1 April 2017, these rules are extended, so if it is one of your children, foster children or non-dependants who regularly receives the overnight care, an extra room can be allocated for their carer. For Universal Credit, the child or person requiring the care must be getting either Personal Independence Payment (daily living component) or the middle or high rate care component of Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance or Armed Forces Independence Payment.
• If someone in the household is a foster carer – NOTE: only one extra bedroom is allowed regardless of the number of foster children; but this rule still applies during gaps between fostering (while the gap is less than a year).
• If a son or daughter is in the armed forces but normally lives with you, they retain their bedroom whilst away on operations.
Away at University
• If a son or daughter who normally lives with you is away at college / university, they retain their bedroom whilst away from home, so long as they intend to return (and do return) within 52 weeks (Housing Benefit) or 6 months (Universal Credit).
Once your local council / the DWP have worked out how many bedrooms you are deemed to need using the above rules, they will regard any bedroom you have above this as ‘extra’. This is regardless of its size*, whether you use it or not and regardless of what* or who* you use it for, and so will mean you have to pay more rent.