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Private Tenants

Private Rents

 You won't be able to claim Housing Benefit if:

  • you are living with your landlord who is a "close relative".  A close relative is a parent, step-parent or parent-in-law, brother, sister; or son, son-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law. step-son, step-daughter, or the partner of any of these
  • we don't think you have a liability to pay rent, or it is not on a commercial basis,
  • you, or your partner, are responsible for the landlord's child
  • you rent from an ex-partner in what was your former joint home
  • you previously owned the property within the last five years, unless you can satisfy us that you could no longer have continued to live in the dwelling without letting go of ownership
  • you live in your home as a condition of your employment
  • your landlord is a trustee of a trust to which you, or your partner, are a beneficiary.


IMPORTANT STEPS TO MAKE A HOUSING BENEFIT CLAIM

1. Find a property.  Once you have found a property (or if you are already occupying a private rented property) you might be entitled to claim help with your rent. Before you move into a property or agree to a tenancy we strongly advise you to call us to find out how much Housing Benefit you might get so you can decide if you can afford the rent.  See more about the proposed changes to HB

2. Contact  our office on 01590 646121 to find out how much Housing Benefit you could get.  It's best to talk to us first, because we can help you through the claiming process.  We can even make an appointment for you to see a personal advisor to help you make your claim, if you wish.

3. You'll need to fill in a Housing Benefit claim form and return it to the Benefits office with all the necessary supporting documents we ask for (without this we may not be able to deal with your Housing Benefit claim). When we have received everything, we will work out your Local Housing Allowance and your Housing Benefit.

We can only start Housing benefit once you have moved into your property.  Therefore, if you send your claim form to our office before moving in, we will need to confirm you've moved in before we start paying Housing Benefit.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE BENEFIT I RECEIVE IS LESS THAN THE RENT I HAVE TO PAY?

Whatever your weekly income is, if your Housing Benefit is less than your rent you will have to pay the rest of the rent yourself.

IF YOU ARE AN EXISTING TENANT MAKING A NEW CLAIM AND PREVIOUSLY COULD AFFORD THE RENT

If you are making a new claim and your rent is more than your Local Housing Allowance we may use your actual rent for the first 13 weeks of your claim.  This only applies where you, or your partner, could afford the financial commitments of the tenancy when it was agreed AND that neither you or your partner have received Housing Benefit for any period of 52 weeks prior to making your current claim.  Please contact our office for further information.

Updated: 12 Nov 2014
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