Please try to tell us before you move but if you can’t, tell us as soon after the move as you can.
It is important that you let us know straight away because if we pay you too much, you will probably have to pay back the amount we have overpaid.
Before you move
Before you move, you can check how much Housing Benefit you could get using our online benefits calculator.
If you are moving into a privately rented property, your Housing Benefit is likely to be worked out using the Local Housing Allowance rules. You can find the maximum amount of Housing Benefit you could get, using the LHA rate for the number of rooms you need.
When you decide to take on the tenancy you should complete a change of address form and provide proof of your new address and proof of rent.
Remember that Housing Benefit is paid in arrears, so you may need to arrange a deposit or paying rent in advance until you get your Housing Benefit. You may be able to get a discretionary housing payment to help with rent in advance or rent deposit.
Try to plan your move, and try to arrange it so you are not responsible for paying rent at two properties at the same time. If you can’t give enough notice to avoid paying rent at two properties, we may, but not always, be able to help you with both. We are unable to help you pay Council Tax for more than one property at a time.
Claiming Housing Benefit on two homes
Housing Benefit is usually only paid for the home in which you are living and paying rent. There are some circumstances in which you may be able to get help for two homes, for example:
- You have moved into other rented accommodation due to fear of violence.
- You are a student or trainee, one of a couple, and have to live in separate rented accommodation because of your course or work.
- You have a large family and the council has housed you in two separate properties.
- You have moved to a new home which you have to pay rent for but you must still pay rent for your old home.
Fear of violence
Where you have left your former home and remain absent due to fear of violence occurring either in your home by another person or outside your home by a former member of your family, Housing Benefit may be paid.
In all cases, we must consider if it is reasonable to do so and Housing Benefit may be paid for a maximum of 52 weeks. For benefit to be paid, you must intend to return to and live in the home you left. We will not normally pay Housing Benefit if someone else is living in your home while you are absent.
Students or trainees
Most full-time students are not eligible for Housing Benefit. Couples where one or both partners are students and are living in separate rented accommodation may receive benefit for both properties. If you think this may apply to you please contact us.
More information about students and Housing Benefit.
If you have a large family and the council has housed you in two separate dwellings because your household is too large for them to place you in one home, Housing Benefit may be paid on both properties. To qualify, both properties must be public housing whether or not provided directly by the council and should be adjacent to each other.
There is no time limit for this provision.
Unavoidable overlapping Housing Benefit
If you have moved to a new home which you rent and you still have to pay rent for your old home, help may be available. If the situation is unavoidable, for example if you were offered a new home to rent but were unable to give your landlord the notice he required, Housing Benefit may be paid for up to 4 weeks on your old home. For this to be considered, you must have moved into your new home.