London Borough of Croydon

What you need to know

Housing benefit (help with your rent) changed in 2013 for people who rent from the council, a registered housing association or a registered social landlord.

What has changed?

A size limit rule was introduced for working age people in 2013, i.e. anyone under state pension credit age. This means you receive housing benefit based on the number of bedrooms the people in your household need and not the size of your property

The new rules allow one bedroom for:

  • every adult couple (married or unmarried)
  • any other adult aged 16 or over
  • any two children of the same sex aged under 16
  • any two children aged under 10
  • any other child
  • a carer (or team of carers) who do not live with you but provide you or your partner with overnight care

What does this mean for you?

If, you are assessed as having more bedrooms than are necessary for your household your housing benefit will be reduced by:

  • 14% if you have one extra bedroom
  • 25% if you have two or more extra bedrooms

Find out how you are affected by using our welfare reform calculator

What can you do if you are affected?


You may need to move to a smaller home or you may want to move out of Croydon to an area where housing is more affordable. There are a number of schemes available including:

  • swapping homes with another tenant (mutual exchange)
  • receiving a special transfer payment
  • seaside and country homes for the over 60s.

For information on how to arrange a move, read our 'Housing advice' fact sheet which can be downloaded below.

Stay where you are

If you choose to do this you will have to pay any shortfall in your housing benefit. You may need to find a job or increase your household income. If you need help finding work even if you aren't on Job seekers allowance we can work with you to support you into employment or help you gain the skills and experience needed to get a job, we can even offer financial support with a discretionary payment whilst you work with us or your local Job Centre Plus or visit You can also get more information from our 'Finding a job' and 'Childcare' fact sheets which can be downloaded below.

It is important that you pay your rent. If you do wish to remain in your own home make sure that you can pay the difference between your rent and your housing benefit. You can access our budget planner.


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