Who can claim Housing Benefit?
Housing Benefit is available to anyone who is on a low income, whether in work or on benefits, and who has to pay rent for a property that they live in as their main home. You will need to complete an application form and provide evidence of your identification and income.
Housing Benefit can only help with the rent you pay. If your rent covers other services like fuel, bills, meals or water charges, a deduction will be made from your Housing Benefit.
The way in which Housing Benefit is calculated depends upon who you pay your rent to e.g. a private landlord, the local authority or a Housing Association. Further information is provided on the LHA and Social Housing pages.
Who can't claim Housing Benefit?
In general, you cannot claim Housing Benefit if;
- You don't pay rent to live in the property on a commercial basis
- You are not resident at the property
- You pay rent to a close relative who lives in the property
- The accommodation is considered tied accommodation (you have to live there for your job e.g. school caretaker)
- You rent from a Government Department such as the Department of Defence (if you pay Mesne profits or damages for trespass, this does not apply)
- You have £16,000 or more in capital, including second properties, shares and investments
- You have recently come to live in the UK (there are exceptions to this rule)
- You own your property