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Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit is a national welfare benefit which helps people pay rent for the homes they live in.  Housing Benefit can be paid to anyone who rents from the private sector, a Housing Association, or our Council housing.


To be entitled to Housing Benefit you need to have a liability to pay rent.

You can make a claim for Housing Benefit if any of the following apply:

  • You pay rent on a Council house
  • You pay rent to a private landlord
  • You pay rent to a Housing Association
  • You are a boarder whose rent includes meals
  • You live in a Hostel
  • You live in a mobile home or a houseboat
  • You are renting under a shared ownership arrangement
  • If you are a joint tenant we can help you pay your share of the rent

Not entitled to Housing Benefit

You are not be entitled if any of the following apply:

  • You own your home or have a mortgage on your home. You may, however, still be entitled to Council Tax Support.
  • Either you or your partner, or both of you together, have more than £16,000 in savings (unless you get the guaranteed part of Pension Credit).
  • You are not responsible for paying the rent. However, in certain circumstances, you can be treated as the person who is responsible for paying the rent, even if your name is not on the Tenancy Agreement, for example, you are the partner of the person named on the Tenancy Agreement.
  • You pay rent to a close relative who lives with you.
  • You live in a care home, such as a nursing home or elderly persons' home.
  • You are renting your property from your ex-partner and you both used to live there.
  • You are the parent or guardian of your landlord's child.
  • You live in the home as part of your job.
  • You are an asylum seeker, unless you've been given refugee status or indefinite or exceptional leave (also called discretionary or humanitarian leave) to remain in the United Kingdom.
  • You have been admitted to the United Kingdom on the condition that you have no recourse to public funds. This means that you must not claim benefits.
  • You are a sponsored immigrant and have lived here for less than five years.
  • You are in the United Kingdom illegally or your permission to stay has run out.

Download our Persons from Abroad Factsheet if you are considering making a claim for Housing Benefit, but are newly arrived in, or have recently returned to the United Kingdom.


Other factors affecting your claim

Please be aware that you may not get Housing Benefit if any of the following apply:

  • You used to live with your landlord as a family member, relative or friend, and now pay that person rent.

  • You used to own the property which you now rent. There may be exceptions to this, and each case will be looked at individually before any decision is made - download the Department for Work and Pensions leaflet for more information.

  • You live in a property run by a religious order and you are a member of that religious order.

  • You rent from a trust and you are also a trustee or beneficiary.

  • You rent the property from a company and you are a director or employee of the company.

  • You are a student (most full-time students don't qualify, but some do). Download our Students Factsheet for more information.

  • You are temporarily living away from your usual home.

  • Modified: Feb 8, 2016 11:54:31 AM