Housing benefits

You can claim Housing Benefit if you are a private tenant, housing association tenant, a Crown tenant being charged Mesne Profits or a sub-tenant or lodger.

If you live in a privately rented property

If you live in a rented property your bedroom requirements will decide the level of rent used to work out your Housing Benefit entitlement. This is called the Local Housing Allowance.

A bedroom is required for each of the following

  • A couple
  • A single person over 16
  • Two children of the same sex under 16
  • Two children under 10 regardless of gender

How much housing benefit will you receive?

The amount you receive will be based on your income and circumstances. Why not try our benefits calculator to see if you qualify.

Your income - If you get Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance (Income Based) or Guarantee element of Pension Credit you will get the full amount of your eligible rent paid as benefit, after any non-dependant deductions have been taken off. If you do not get any of the above we will work out your Housing Benefit by comparing the money you get each week with your applicable amount. You can apply if you are in work or self-employed.

Your applicble amount - Your applicable amount is the amount of money the Government says you, your partner if you have one, and any dependent children need to live on. It is made up of a personal allowance for you, your partner, allowances for dependent children, and extra amounts (usually called Premiums) for disability, age, single parents and families. If the money you get each week is less than, or the same as, your applicable amount, you will get the full amount of eligible Housing Benefit.

You cannot get housing benefit if:

  • You (or your partner) have savings or capital of £16,000 or more, unless this includes one or more of the special payments, or are in receipt of Pension Credit Guarantee.
  • You pay rent to a close relative who lives in the same home as you.
  • You own the property you live in.

Most full time students who live alone cannot claim. But you may be able to claim if your partner is a full-time student.

Housing benefit may be reduced if:

  • Your income and circumstances mean that you do not get full housing benefit.
  • If you are single and aged less than 25 years of age you will normally only receive the one bedroom shared accommodation.
  • The property is too big for you and other members of your household’s needs.

If your Housing Benefit does not cover your eligible rent and you are in financial difficulty you may be able to claim for a Discretionary Housing Payment.

You must inform us of any change in your circumstances as soon as possible.

How will your benefit be paid?

Housing Benefit can be paid direct to you, direct to your bank account or direct to your landlord.

If you have rent arrears of over eight weeks your Housing Benefit will be paid direct to your landlord.