Who can claim Housing Benefit?
To be eligible to claim Housing Benefit you must be liable to make rent payments upon the property which is deemed to be your main residence.
- Thus all owner-occupiers are excluded from claiming Housing Benefit as they do not pay rent for their home, however they maybe able to claim Council Tax Benefit, please see the Who can claim Council Tax Benefit? page.
The people most commonly excluded from claiming Housing Benefit are:
- Persons subject to immigration control and deemed not to be “habitually resident”. Please see the Recent U.K. Residents page for more information about who is and isn’t able to claim Housing Benefit.
- Most full time students, please see the Students page for more information.
- Members of religious orders if they are wholly maintained by their order.
- Most care leavers under the age of 18 years.
- Most residents of private and voluntary care homes.
This list is not comprehensive and there are a number of other exclusions that apply only in very specific circumstances, uncommon to most tenants.
Although a person may be liable to pay rent for their current address it doesn’t necessarily follow that they are able to claim Housing Benefit, this is because certain scenarios are not covered by scheme. These scenarios most commonly arise when:
- Your landlord is a close relative and resides with you.
- When the tenancy isn’t legally enforceable, and is deemed non-commercial.
- In many cases where you were a former owner of the property.
- Renting your home from a company of which you or your partner, are a director or employee of the said company.
- If your accommodation is tied to your current employment.
- Sub-tenancies in contradiction of the tenant’s agreement to rent the property.
- And scenarios where the Council deem the tenancy to have been created to “take advantage of the scheme”.
This list is not comprehensive and there are a number of other scenarios that apply only in very specific circumstances, uncommon to most tenants.