The "Bedroom Tax" is the popular term for the change in the Housing Benefit criteria brought in by the Welfare Reform Act 2012. The Housing Benefit criteria now takes into consideration the number of rooms and the number of people occupying a property and restricts payments to allow for one bedroom per person or per couple.
If there are too many rooms in a rented accommodation for the number of occupants, an "under-occupancy penalty" is applied which reduces the housing benefit payable.
This applies to housing benefit claimants of working age living in council or housing association accommodation from 1 April 2013.
In introducing what has been named the ‘Bedroom Tax’ the government’s aim was to tackle overcrowding and encourage more efficient use of social housing.