If you're on a low income or if you receive other welfare benefits, you may be entitled to Housing Benefit to help pay your rent.

How do I make a claim?

You need to claim Housing Benefit from your local council. Visit Gov.uk to find out how, or download a Housing Benefit claim form.

Am I responsible for paying my rent?

It's your legal responsibility to make sure your rent is paid in full, even if you are receiving Housing Benefit or waiting for your claim to be assessed.

This means that if the rent is not paid - whether or not it is your fault - you'll still owe us the missing rent. Please check that payments are being made and take action yourself if there is a problem.

If Housing Benefit does not cover all of your rent, you are responsible for paying the difference.

If you are having problems paying your rent, contact your housing officer as soon as possible.

Where can I get more information?

Housing Benefit is complicated so if you are not sure about any aspect of your claim, ask your housing officer, property management officer or your local council.

Top Tips: How to prevent your claim from being stopped

  • Tip 1: If your Housing Benefit has not been paid, call immediately

    If you notice that your claim has not been paid, call us and call Housing Benefit straight away. We can then work together at getting your claim back in payment. Any delays in you making this call may cause you to lose out on Housing Benefit that you are entitled to.

  • Tip 2: If there are changes or gaps in payment, call straight away

    Any changes to the amount of money you receive each month needs to be reported to Housing Benefit immediately. This includes changes to your other benefits (JSA/ESA etc.) even if they have been sanctioned or suspended in error. This is the case even if it you don’t think the change will have an effect on your Housing Benefit claim.

  • Tip 3: Keep Housing Benefit updated with changes to your household or income

    You need to tell Housing Benefit if a member of your household starts studying, starts working, leaves or joins your household (or if there any other changes in your, or a household members, circumstances).

    If you fail to do this there is a good chance that your claim will be suspended and eventually cancelled. This means you could lose out on money that you would have otherwise been entitled to.

  • Tip 4: Open and respond to letters as soon as you receive them

    Make sure you open all of your post and deal with any letters Housing Benefit send you promptly.

    Letters from Housing Benefit can be difficult to understand. If you need help call your housing officer or property management officer.

    If you ignore or do not deal with letters from Housing Benefit quickly, you risk losing out on payments that you are entitled to.

  • Tip 5: Keep receipts and write down the names of any people you speak to

    Whenever you hand in any paperwork to Housing Benefit, ask for a receipt. This will be useful if documents are lost or mistakes are made. If they refuse to give you a receipt, ask for the name of the person you are speaking to and write this down.

    Whenever you communicate with Housing Benefit in any way, write this down or better still, let us know so we can note this on your record. Make sure you write down

    • What advice or instruction you were given
    • Who you spoke to
    • When you spoke to them (i.e what date)
    • How you spoke to them (i.e. phone, face-to-face, email).

    If any documents are lost or mistakes are made on your claim that result in you losing out on money, you then have evidence to prove this and claim this money back.