A non-dependant is a person aged 18 or over who is living with the tenant but who is not dependant upon them, and not living in the property on a commercial basis, (ie not joint tenants or lodgers). Non-dependants include a grown up son or daughter, a mother or father, Auntie Hilda, a friend etc .
These people are assumed to be giving the tenant something towards their rent, regardless of whether or not they are actually doing so. This assumed contribution is based upon the non-dependant's circumstances - click here. HB Reg 74
The appropriate deduction is then taken off the eligible rent before HB is assessed, and it is the tenant who is responsible for making up this shortfall. In exceptional circumstances the tenant may be able to claim a Discretionary Housing Payment to help them pay for this shortfall.
Non-dependants are not able to claim HB.
Where there is a non-dependant couple only one deduction should be made. If neither member is working 16 hours or more a week, then consider what deductions would be made if they were considered to be single people - it is the higher of the two that will be applicable. HB Reg 74 para 3. If one of both of them is working 16 hours or more a week, then their gross income is added together and the appropriate deduction depending on the income band they then fall within will be made. HB Reg 74 para 4.
For issues/ problems with non-dependant deductions, click on these links:
For ways to minimise arrears due to non-dependant deduction, click on these links and scroll down to the relevant section:
If someone, who is not a close relative, lives with a tenant on a commercial basis, ie either pays money for accommodation and food, or accommodation alone, they should not be classified as a non-dependant. Instead the income from the boarder/lodger is taken into account thus:
Any income from a lodger over £20 a week is taken into account in full if food is not provided.
Half of any income from a lodger over £20 a week is taken into account where meals are prepared for the lodger on the premises by the tenant, and consumed by the lodger on the premises. For more information see HB Schedule 5.
Rules Under Universal Credit
The rules under Universal Credit will work differently -click here for more information.