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How will taking a lodger affect my benefits?
The effect of taking in a lodger on your benefits will depend on which benefit you are claiming.
- Housing Benefit: if you are claiming Housing Benefit, a lodger will be included in the calculation of the number of bedrooms that you need. So if you are of working age and have a spare bedroom, taking a lodger could help you avoid the reduction in housing benefit which would normally apply (known as bedroom tax). However, any rent you receive over £20 per week will be considered income and will affect your Housing Benefit.
- Universal Credit: if you are claiming Universal Credit, any lodger will not be included in the calculation of the number of bedrooms that you need and so the ‘bedroom tax’ reduction will still apply. However, the rent that you receive will not be treated as income, so won’t affect your benefits and could be used to pay the shortfall in your rent.