Before You Move into a Property

Renting from a Housing Association

From 1 April 2013 a size limit rule was introduced to Housing Benefit for working age people. If, under these rules, it is decided someone has more bedrooms than are necessary for their household the Housing Benefit will be reduced by:

14% of the eligible rent for 1 extra bedroom
• 25% of the eligible rent for 2 or more extra bedrooms

The Housing Benefit rules allow one bedroom each for:

• every adult couple (married or unmarried)
• any household member aged 16 or over
• any two children of the same sex under 16 years
• any two children aged under 10
• any other child, (other than a foster child or child whose main home is elsewhere)
• a carer (or team of carers) who do not live with you but provides you or your partner with overnight care

Unfortunately the size of the bedroom is not taken into account.

There are some exceptions to these rules and further information can be found on the factsheet below or the website using the link below.

Renting from a Private Landlord
From April 2008, the Local Housing Allowance Scheme (LHA) is used in the assessment of housing benefit for most tenants in privately rented accommodation. It affects tenants renting from a private landlord who either:
• enter into a new tenancy agreement
• make a new claim for housing benefit
• are claiming housing benefit again after a break in their entitlement
The same size criteria rules apply as shown above for Housing Association tenants and there are also restrictions for some tenants under 35 years old.

For further information on Local Housing Allowance please use the link below.

What happens if the Benefit I receive is less than the rent I have to pay?
Whatever your weekly income is you may have to pay some of the rent yourself.

If you find that you cannot afford to pay the difference between your rent and housing benefit without causing exceptional hardship to your family, you can apply for Discretionary Housing Payment. Please go to our Discretionary Housing Payment page for further information, the link is below.

Need help to find accommodation?
If you need information and advice to help you find accommodation go to the Housing Options information page, the link is below.