Help paying your rent – Housing Benefit
We are currently receiving a high volume of telephone calls. Many of our services can be accessed online by registering for an account on MyServices. If after checking your account you still need assistance please contact us by email.
If you claim Universal Credit any help you are eligible for towards your rent costs will be paid within your Universal Credit payment.
However if you :
- Live in supported accommodation
- Have been placed in temporary accommodation by the Council
then this does not apply and you will need to make a claim for Housing Benefit. You can claim Housing Benefit online here
If in doubt please do not hesitate to contact us
Mixed age couples
A mixed age couple is where one of you has reached State Pension age and the other has not.
Help to pay your rent
If you do not receive help towards your rent within a Universal Credit claim there are 2 other ways that you can get help if you are on a low income :
- Housing Benefit – This is for people that rent from a housing association, rent a caravan or houseboat, or have a tenancy which began before 1989
- Local Housing Allowance (Housing Benefit) – for people that are renting from a private landlord
Whilst you are receiving Housing Benefit you must tell us about any changes in your circumstances which may affect your claim.
Housing Benefit is available if you:
- Pay rent to a housing association or local authority
- Live in a hostel, caravan, mobile home or houseboat
- Pay a rent that has been registered as a 'fair rent'
- Have a tenancy that began before 1989
- Live in accommodation where a large part of the rent is for board and attendance
You may be able to claim for Housing Benefit if you:
- Are on a low income
- Are working full or part time and earning a low wage
- Have savings under £16,000 (if you are in receipt of pension credit guarantee this limit does not apply)
- Are receiving state benefits
If you rent from a private landlord and make a new claim for housing benefit, have a break in your existing housing benefit claim, or move to privately rented accommodation your claim will be assessed under the rules for Local Housing Allowance.
Housing Benefit cannot normally be paid if you:
- Live with and pay rent to a close relative
- Used to live with your landlord as a member of their family
- Are renting a home that you used to share with your ex-partner
- Are responsible for your landlord’s child
- Used to own the property you now rent
- Live in the home as part of your job
- Live in a care home
- Are a full time student
How much Housing Benefit
If you (and your partner, if you are a couple) are on a low income, you can get up to the full amount of your rent. However it could be reduced if:
- You are under pension age, live in a council or housing association home and have one or more 'spare' bedrooms - this is called under occupancy
- Your rent includes a service charge, such as money for things like heating or meals
- The Rent Officer decides that your rent is above the typical rent for suitably sized accommodation in the area - details about how the Rent Officer makes these decisions can be found on the Valuation Office Agency website
- You have other adults in your household, for example grown up children, other relatives or friends - these are known as non-dependants
- Your income is more than the rules say you need to live on
Receiving your Housing Benefit
Housing Benefit is usually paid from the Monday following the date your claim is received by our benefits team.
Housing Benefit payments will be made directly into your bank account.
If you wish you can have payments made directly to your Landlord.
If you do not already have a bank account please make arrangements to open one. If you are unable to open a current account due to your credit history you can open a basic bank account.
We cannot pay into Post Office accounts or Building Society accounts.
When payments are made
Payments are made directly to tenants every 2 weeks in arrears, and to Landlords every 4 weeks in arrears.
Payments to tenants by cheque are paid every 4 weeks in arrears.