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Other FAQs


Income received from a lodger is ignored for UC purposes. A lodger is not counted in your bedroom entitlement so you may have a rent shortfall due to bedroom tax (social housing) or local housing allowance (private rental).


If you are a lodger and want to claim housing costs through UC, you will need to provide proof of your housing costs to UC. A lodger agreement, rent book or letter from your landlord can be used as evidence.


Living with parents / other family members

If you pay rent to family members you live with, you cannot claim housing costs through UC. 

If you are a joint tenant you will be able to claim housing costs. UC will assume each named tenancy holder pays an equal portion of the rent (2 people pay 50% each).

Untidy tenancy

If you have a joint tenancy with one or more other people who no longer live with you this is known as an untidy tenancy. Although the joint tenant is still responsible for their share of the rent legally, if they are no longer living at the property it can be unreasonable to expect them to pay, resulting in a shortfall in rent.

When you declare your housing costs you should do this accurately stating 2 tenants, you will then be asked how many tenants live in the property and you can state one.  This will ensure you are paid your full eligible rent from the start of your claim.

If you have any issues with not being recorded as the only tenant living in a joint tenancy, you should report that you are solely responsible for paying the full rent and have an untidy tenancy. Your case manager can then set a ‘record a change in joint tenancy costs’ to do in order to allow your full rent entitlement to be paid each assessment period. 

Additional bedroom
Your housing element is usually calculated using your bedroom entitlement for your household. However, there are certain circumstances where an additional bedroom can be allowed when the relevant condition is met.

These are:

  • The overnight care condition

  • The foster parent condition

  • The disabled child condition

  • The disabled person condition

Overnight care condition

The overnight care condition is met if the renter (or a member of their household) is in receipt of one of the following

  • Care component of DLA at the middle or highest rate

  • Attendance Allowance (including AFIP)

  • The daily living component of PIP

In addition they must also need regular overnight care from someone who doesn’t live in the home, either on a voluntary or paid basis.

The foster parent condition
The foster parent condition is met if the renter, or joint renter, are foster parents or are adopting a child or have a child placed with them. This also applies when the foster parent doesn’t have a child placed with them for up to a year.

The disabled child condition

The disabled child condition is met if the renter or other member of their household is responsible for a child who would otherwise be expected to share and:

  • the child is in receipt of middle or high care component DLA or the daily living rate of PIP and

  • because of their disability the child is not reasonably able to share a bedroom with another child.

The disabled person condition
This disabled person condition is met if they or their partner is responsible for paying rent. They would be expected to share a bedroom with a partner but;

  • The disabled person is in receipt of the care component of DLA at middle or highest rate or

  • AA (at the highest rate) or

  • The daily living component of PIP

and because of their disability, they are not able to share a bedroom.

If you believe that you meet the criteria for an additional bedroom you need to request this through your journal and state why. You will be given a ‘to-do’ to complete to explain why you need the  additional room and under which criteria.

Additional bedroom
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