If you are on a low income and need financial help to pay all or part of your rent, you may be eligible for housing benefit.
If you are a private tenant renting property or a room from a private landlord and on a low income, you may be eligible for local housing allowance (LHA).
Claiming housing benefit will not affect any other benefits you get.
If you are not sure which council you need to make a claim with, visit the Directgov website and enter your postcode to find out.
We assess you for housing benefit and council tax reduction (benefits) at the same time.
Try our benefits calculator to see what help you can get.
You may claim housing benefit if you pay rent and your income, savings and investments are below a certain level.
You cannot usually get housing benefit if:
If you live with a partner or civil partner only one of you can claim housing benefit.
If you are single and aged under 25 you can only get housing benefit for bed-sit accommodation or one room in shared accommodation.
The most Housing Benefit you can get is the same as your 'eligible' rent. This is the amount used to work out your benefit but may not be the same as your full rent.
Eligible rent includes:
Even if it's included in your rent, you won't get any Housing Benefit for:
The amount of Housing Benefit you may get also depends on:
We will look at:
We will also look at whether:
Your 'eligible' rent may be limited to an amount that's reasonable for a suitably sized property in the area you live.
If you don't have a formal tenancy agreement or a rent book we will need your landlord to complete the Tenancy declaration form [PDF, 13.2 KB].
Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) are extra payments to help pay rent.
We can give DHPs to people claiming benefit who need extra help with their housing costs, if these are more than the amount of benefit they get, please contact us for details.