Apply for help with your rent
Do you need help paying your rent?
If you need help paying your rent, in most cases, you will now need to apply for Universal Credit.
You may be able to get Universal Credit if:
- you're on a low income or out of work
- you're 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you're 16 to 17)
- you're under state pension age (or your partner is)
- you and your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you
Who can claim housing benefit?
You can still apply for housing benefit if any of the following apply:
- you are of state pension age
- you live in supported or temporary accommodation
To make a claim you must:
- rent your home or pay rent as a tenant, lodger or boarder in a hostel or bed and breakfast
- be on a low income or qualify for other benefits
- have savings of less than £16,000
- live in the home you're claiming housing benefit for
In some circumstances you may be able to get housing benefit for two homes, including:
- you've moved into other rented accommodation due to fear of violence
- you're a large family and have been housed in two properties
- you've moved to a new home but have to continue paying rent on your old home
How much benefit will I get?
How much housing benefit you get depends on:
- your savings
- money you have coming in
- money the government thinks you need to live on
- rent you pay
- and any other adults who may live in your home
How to apply
You can apply for housing benefit using our online form. Make sure you have your:
- National Insurance number for you (and your partner if applicable)
- full name and date of birth of everyone in your household
- landlord's details, the amount of rent you pay and any charges included in your rent
- your household income, savings, investments and expenses
What happens next?
We will check your claim and let you know how much benefit you will get. Council tenants get a rent rebate. The benefit is paid into your rent account.
We process benefit claims within 10 working days from all necessary information being sent to us.
If your benefit changes, the amount of rent you pay changes as well. Private tenants and housing association tenants get a rent allowance. We may pay this direct to you or send payment to your landlord every four weeks, via bank transfer.
We take steps, where necessary, to minimise overpayments of benefits. When this does happen, we seek to recover the money. We take into account individual circumstances.
Already on Housing Benefit but still unable to pay rent
If you get housing benefit and are struggling financially, you could get some additional help from a short-term Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).
We will look at your circumstances to see whether you are eligible for a DHP. We will decide whether to give you a DHP, how much you will be paid and for how long you will receive the payment.