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Bedroom Tax exemption for domestic abuse Sanctuary Schemes

Sanctuary schemes support victims of domestic abuse to feel safe in their own homes with the installation of additional security equipment to the property.

From 1 October 2021, claimants living in a social sector property that has been adapted under a sanctuary scheme will be excluded from the Bedroom Tax. This applies to both Housing Benefit and Universal Credit.

However, this exception is not automatic.

You will need to contact your local Housing Benefit Office and inform DWP (can be done through your Universal Credit journal). You will also need to provide written evidence from a person acting in an official capacity.

A person acting in an official capacity includes a health care official, police officer, social worker, employer, trade union representative, as well as any public, voluntary or charitable body which has had contact with them about the domestic abuse.

How to become Bedroom Tax exempt

Housing Benefit (HB) and Universal Credit (UC) claimants will now be excluded from the Bedroom Tax if:

  • they live in social housing
  • the property has been adapted under a sanctuary scheme
  • domestic violence has been inflicted on, or threatened against, the claimant or a member of their household by that person's partner, former partner, or by a relative
  • the perpetrator does not live at the property (unless they are a qualifying young person who is dependent on a member of the household)
  • the claimant provides written evidence from a person who is acting in an official capacity (e.g. police, social worker, support worker from a charity or voluntary organisation which supports victims of domestic violence).

The exemption will take effect from:

  • For HB claimants - from 4 October 2021
  • For UC claimants - from the Monthly Assessment Period that starts on or after 1 October 2021

Support available

If you need support accessing your Bedroom Tax exemption, we are here to help.

Contact Torus Foundation’s Financial Support Team:


0300 123 5809