The Revenues & Benefits Service administers claims for Housing Benefit on behalf of the Department for Work & Pensions. The service also administers the Discretionary Housing Payment scheme.
Many new claims, will now be met through Universal Credit – so save yourself time, before making a claim and use our online calculator to see if you are eligible - this will give a good indication to your eligibility.
Housing benefit is a means tested benefit for tenants to help meet their rental costs.
Housing benefit is available to tenants who rent their properties from private landlords, housing associations and local councils. To be entitled to housing benefit you must:
- Make a valid claim
- Occupy the property you are renting as home
- Be liable to pay rent for that property
- Have capital that does not exceed £16,000.00
- Have income that is not too high for the needs of your household
- Not be in a category which is not entitled to benefit
- Provide the information we have asked for
You cannot get housing benefit if for example:
- You do not make a valid claim
- You are not liable to pay rent
- Either you or your partner, or you and your partner together, have more than £16,000 in savings and/or capital. A partner is someone you are married to, or someone you live with as if you are married to him or her or a civil partner or a person you live with as if you are civil partners
- You pay rent to a close relative who lives with you
- You live in a care home, such as a nursing or elderly person's home
- You rent a former joint home from your ex-partner
- You are the parent or guardian of your landlord's child
- You occupy the home as part of your job
While most people are entitled to housing benefit, sometimes you may not qualify if for example
- You used to live with your landlord as a family member, relative or friend and now pay that person rent
- You live in a property run by a religious order and you are a member of that same religious order
- You rent from a trust and you are the trustee or a beneficiary
- You rent the property from a company and you are a director or an employee of the company
- You used to own the property which you now rent
- You are a student (most students don't qualify but some do)
- You were a non-dependant of a tenant and the tenancy has now been changed into both your names
- You have recently come to live in the United Kingdom
- You are temporarily living away from your usual home
The amount of housing benefit awarded depends on a number of factors including:
- Your income and capital and that of your partner
- The size of your family
- The age and circumstances of members of your family
- Any non-dependants who reside with you
- The amount of your rent
- The size of accommodation applicable to you under the local housing allowance rules if you are a private tenant
The amount and composition of your rent will affect the amount of housing benefit awarded.
- Housing benefit will not pay for charges such as meals, fuel, water, cleaning, personal care. If your rent includes charges for these types of services then the rent used to calculate your housing benefit will be reduced to exclude them. This is known as 'eligible rent'.
- If you are a private tenant and the local housing allowance rules apply to you, your housing benefit is calculated on a rent based on the size of accommodation you need. The Valuation Office Agency (used to be called The Rent Service) set the amount