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If you are living in private rented accommodation and you are under the age of 35 you will be subject to the shared accommodation rate. This means your Housing Benefit calculation will be based on the Local Housing Allowance figure for a shared property.

The following page explains when the shared accommodation rate will apply and the situations where it will not apply.

Choose the shared accommodation rate if one or more of the below applies

  • You are part of a couple, don’t live with dependants and rent a room in shared accommodation 
  • You are 34 years or younger and single (exemptions for severely disabled people and care leavers under 22 years of age)
  • You are 35 years or over, and rent a room for your sole use in a shared accommodation

Choose the one bedroom rate if

  • You are 35 years or over and rent a self-contained property (e.g. a whole flat or house) 
  • You are a care leaver under the age of 22 (we may need further information) 
  • You qualify for the Severe Disability Premium (depends on your disability income and whether you live alone) 
  • You are 25 to 34 and rent a self-contained property and meet either of the following criteria:

Vulnerable Homeless: You have for a total of at least 3 months (whether or not continuously), occupied as your home, one or more hostels for homeless people; and whilst occupying such a hostel, have been offered and have accepted support services with a view to assisting to be rehabilitated or resettled within the community.

Ex Offenders: The exemption will apply to ex offenders aged 25 or over who are subject to Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements. The exemption will only apply if you are a Level 2 or 3 Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements offender. If you feel you are eligible for exemption under this rule then please contact your Offender Manager or the Duty Manager at the Probation Services or Police Station. Please do not: telephone or write to this council with your details, as an exemption can only be awarded by the Probation Services or Police Services completing the appropriate form and sending the form to Southampton City Council through a secure email address.