If you pay rent to live in your home and have a low income, you may be able to receive help by claiming housing benefit.
The amount you will get depends on various things such as:
- your income and savings
- how many family members live with you
- your age
It also depends on how much of your rent qualifies. For example, you can’t get help with any part of your rent that covers things like service charges, heating, lighting and internet.
If you rent from a private landlord (not the council or a housing association), the amount of rent you can get help with is set by the Local Housing Allowance (LHA).
You should apply straightaway if you think you are eligible for housing benefit as it is not always possible to backdate payments. You should also let us know immediately if your circumstances change as any overpayment must be paid back to the council.
Apply for housing benefit
Please use our benefits calculator to see which benefits you may be entitled to before applying for housing benefit. The online calculator covers all benefits including Universal Credit.
Housing benefit is a means tested benefit. This means that your income and savings are taken into consideration when applying.
To make a claim for housing benefit, you will need to complete the following online application form.
If you need to provide additional evidence to support your claim, you can send this to us online.
Housing benefit can be paid direct to you, direct to your bank account or direct to your landlord.
If you have rent arrears of over eight weeks your housing benefit will be paid direct to your landlord.
Manage your housing benefit online
You can manage your housing benefit online by creating a portal account. The portal gives you full access to your benefits claim where you can check the status of your claim, see your current entitlement and how it was been calculated and see past and future housing benefit payments.
Housing benefit exemptions
You cannot usually get housing benefit if:
- you (or your partner) has savings or capital of £16,000 or more
- you pay rent to a close relative who lives in the same home as you
- you own the place where you live
- you are a student living alone
We are required by law to protect the public funds we administer. We may share information provided to us with other bodies responsible for auditing, administering public funds, undertaking a public function and preventing and detecting fraud.
We participate in the national fraud initiative which is a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud.