Sign In

My Neighbourhood

Use your postcode to find local councillors, facilities, school catchment areas and more.

Find facilities in my area

Cardiff Council

Bedroom tax (size restriction)

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​If you live in a Council or Housing Association home and have one or more ‘spare’ bedrooms your Housing Benefit may be reduced. This is often referred to as the ‘bedroom tax.’  Children are expected to share a bedroom.

Does the bedroom tax apply to everyone?

No. This will not affect you if: 

  • you and your partner are of pension credit qualifying age,
  • you live in some type(s) of temporary accommodation, or
  • you have a shared ownership tenancy.

How do I know if my home is too big?

You are allowed 1 bedroom for:

  • ​Every adult couple.
  • Any other adult (16 or over).
  • Any 2 children of the same sex aged under 16.
  • 2 children under the age of 10 whether they are a boy or a girl.
  • Any other child.
  • A carer who does not normally live with you but provides a member of your household with overnight care.

Children who normally live elsewhere are not counted. 

You can use the bedroom calculator to get an idea of how this could affect you.  

How much of my benefit will be cut?

If you have 1 ‘spare’ bedroom, your Housing Benefit will reduce by at least 14%.​

If you have 2 or more 'spare' bedrooms, your Housing Benefit will reduce by at least 25%.

Some of my bedrooms are too small to use as bedrooms

When you moved into your home, it was on the agreement that it had a ce​rtain number of bedrooms. If you think this was wrong, and your home has less bedrooms, you should:

  • contact us if you are a council tenant, or
  • speak to your landlord if you are a Housing Association tenant.


In very exceptional cases, your landlord may consider reclassifying your home as a smaller property. ​​If your landlord does this, and reduces your rent, your claim will be looked at again and a decision will be made whether to revise your benefit.


View a list of exceptions to the 'bedroom tax'.

Disabled children

If you have a disabled child who cannot share a bedroom, we may be able to allow you an extra bedroom when working out your Housing Benefit.

You need to give us information about the child’s disabilities and why they cannot share a bedroom. Your child must get either the middle or high rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance. 

Apply for a bedroom tax exception for a disabled child who cannot share a bedroom (104kb PDF).

Disabled adults who cannot share a bedroom

If an adult member of a couple cannot share a bedroom because of their disabilities, from 1 April 2017 we may be able to allow an extra bedroom when working out your Housing Benefit.

You need to tell us about the adult’s disabilities and why they cannot share a bedroom. To apply, the adult must already get:

  • the middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance,
  • the higher rate of Attendance Allowance,
  • the Daily Living Component of Personal Independence Payments, or
  • Armed Forces Independence Payments.

Apply for a bedroom tax exception for a disabled adult in a couple who cannot share a bedroom (104kb PDF)​​​.

Foster carers

If you are an approved foster carer affected by the bedroom tax, you will be allowed 1 extra bedroom when your Housing Benefit is worked out. This will also apply between placements, as long as you have fostered a child, or become an approved foster carer, in the last 12 months. 

Apply for a bedroom tax exception for a foster carer (230kb PDF)​​​.

Person with an adult son or daughter in the armed forces​

If you have an adult son or daughter who normally lives with you, but is temporarily away on armed forces operations, you may be allowed an extra bedroom while they are away. This will also apply to a stepson or stepdaughter.

They must have previously lived with you as an adult, and must intend to return to live in your home.

​If you believe this applies to you, please contact us.

W​hat can I do now?

If you are worried about paying your rent, please ask for advice now. If you do not pay your rent, you could lose your home. You can:

If you are a council tenant, please call 029 2053 7111.

Extra help with moving home

If you are a council or Housing Association tenant, and you want to move into a smaller property, extra help is available to you.​​

The Priority Downsizing List

If you want to move to a smaller property, you can apply to join the priority downsizing waiting list.

We will make 2 reasonable offers of accommodation to you. If you refuse both, you will be suspended from the list and will not receive any more offers. 

For information on the priority downsizing list, please conta​​ct us. Housing association tenants can also contact their landlord. 

Swapping or exchanging your home with another tenant


Help with the shortfall 

If you cannot afford to pay the shortfall in your rent yourself, you may be able to get Discretionary Housing Payments. These payments can help with the reduction in your Housing Benefit while you wait to move home.

To be eligible for these payments:

  • You must be live on the Priority Downsizing Waiting List.
  • You must have selected at least 1 area in Cardiff where there is a high availability of the size property you need.
  • You must be registered and have a live account on Homeswapper.

Homes with disabled adaptations

If your needs to be adapted to help with a disability, we will work with Cardiff Accessible Homes to: 

  • help you find a property with adaptations or a property where adaptations are no longer required, or
  • replace your adaptations at a new smaller home. 

Help with removal costs

You may be entitled to £250 from the Discretionary Housing Payments fund to help with your re​moval costs.

To get this help, you must be moving to a new Council or Housing Association home which is smaller than your current home. Your new home does not need to be in Cardiff.

You can apply for this help when you sign for your new tenancy. 

Help with setting up your new home

If you are a Council tenant, you may also be able to claim a Welfare Reform Disturbance Payment. This payment of £250 is to help with the costs of setting up your new home. 

You can apply for this help when you sign for your new tenancy. 

Some Housing Associations also offer help. Housing Association tenants should contact their landlords for further information.​

Help if you want to rent privately

If you get Housing Benefit and want to move to a privately rented home, you may be able to get help with a bond or rent in advance. ​​To get help, you must: 

  • be affected by Welfare Reform, or have a good reason for needing to move home,
  • have found a new home in Cardiff that you are ready to move into, and
  • be able to afford the rent in your new home. 

Where can I get more information about moving home?

The Cardiff Housing website aims to help people looking for a home by providing information about rented and affordable accommodation. 

Landlords can also advertise their properties, and get information about required accommodation standards, accreditation options and other issues. 

Visit the Cardiff Housing website​

Contact us

For more information, you can also visit the Housing Options Service. 

Housing Options Service 
Central Library Hub 
The Hayes 
CF10 1FL

Tel: 029 2057 0750.

View the opening hours of the Housing Options Service​.​​​​

Contact us

© 2022 Cardiff Council