Housing Benefit on two homes


Unavoidable overlap of tenancies

You can claim help with the rent that you have to pay on two homes in certain circumstances. However, there is no such assistance for Council Tax Support. You can never get Council Tax support on more than one dwelling at a time.

If you move from one rented house to another you may be eligible for housing benefit on both of them if:-

  • You have moved into the new address, and
  • If your liability for rent on both properties could not reasonably have been avoided.

Overlapping benefit can be paid for a maximum of four weeks only.

If you move from a rented house to a non-rented house you may be eligible for housing benefit on the property that you have left but only if:-

  • You have moved into the new address, and
  • Your liability for rent on the former property could not reasonably have been avoided.

The above could apply when you move from a rented home to a home that you own, or to a care home, or to live with parents.


Moved through fear of violence

You may be eligible for housing benefit on two rented homes for up to fifty two weeks if you have:-

  • Left home and remain absent from the former home through fear of violence in the home or by a person who is formerly a member of your family; and
  • You have an intention to return to the former home; and
  • You are liable for rent on both the former home and where you are now living; and
    It is reasonable to meet the rent on both homes

If you do not intend to return to the former home, then housing benefit can only be paid for a maximum of four weeks (see ‘Unavoidable overlap of tenancies’ section).


Payment of housing benefit before you move in

Housing benefit is not normally payable before you move into a property. However, we may be able to make payments in the following circumstances:-

The delay in moving in was reasonable and was caused by:-

  • The need to make adaptations due to the disablement needs for yourself or a member of your family, or;
  • The move was delayed pending the outcome of an application for a social fund payment to meet a need related to the move and a member of your family is aged less than 6 or you or your partner is aged over 60 or qualifies for a disablement benefit, or;
  • You become liable to make rent payments while an in-patient or in residential accommodation.

A decision to pay benefit for any period before you move to an address can only be made once you have actually moved in. Housing benefit can only be paid for a maximum of four weeks prior to the date that you actually move in.


Large families

If your family is so large that you have been housed by a housing association in two separate properties, you can claim housing benefit on both properties. However, both homes should be provided, but not necessarily owned, by the local authority.