Help with Paying your Rent
If you are on benefits or are on a low income you may be eligible for help with paying some of your rent.
This will be through Housing Benefit, which you claim from the local council in whose area the property you are going to rent is. If you think you are going to need to claim Local Housing Allowance to help pay your rent it is very important that you choose a property that is not too big for you or too expensive.
You should ask the council's Benefits Team for advice on what help with your rent you might be eligible for before you sign any agreement.
How many rooms am I allowed?
If you claim as a new private tenant, one bedroom for:
- Each adult couple.
- Any other adult (aged 16 or over).
- Any two children under 10.
- Two children of the same sex under age 16.
- Any other child.
The number of bedrooms a person claiming Housing Benefits needs is used to decide the Local Housing Allowance rate.
- Example 1: A person privately rents a 2 bedroom property. This person qualifies for a 2 bedroom property under LHA rules, Housing Benefit will be calculated using the 2 bedroom rate.
- Example 2: A person privately rents a 3 bedroom property but qualifies for a two bedroom rate, they will only receive Housing Benefit calculated using the 2 bedroom rate and will have to pay the shortfall from their other income.
- Example 3: A person privately rents a 1 bedroom property but qualifies for a 2 bedroom rate. We will use the 2 bedroom rate and they will be paid up to £15.00 per week of the difference between the 1 bedroom rate and the actual contracted rent or the 2 bedroom rate, whichever is the lesser amount.
Single people under 35: If you are single person under 35 with no children residing with you, you are only entitled to the shared accommodation rate of LHA no matter what size of property you rent. There are only a few exceptions to this rule the Council's Housing Benefit department will be able to give you more information on this.
Single people over 35 years old and couples with no children: If you have 1 bedroom and share one or more of the following; living room, kitchen, bathroom or toilet, you will be entitled to the shared accommodation rate.
If you have 1 bedroom and do not share your living room, kitchen, bathroom or toilet you will be entitled to the 1 bedroom rate.
Joint tenants:Joint tenants are people who are not a couple but share a property and are named separately on the tenancy agreement. Joint tenants will get the Local Housing Allowance for their own household, they cannot include the family of the other tenant.