How much housing benefit am I entitled to for private renting? Benefits

There are a number of reasons why you may be unable to pay your rent. It could be that you have lost your job, reduced your hours, or had to stop working entirely. If this is the case, it’s important to explore your options before you get into arrears, and that’s where Housing Benefit comes in.

Housing Benefit is a set amount you receive every month that goes towards your rent. It is available to individuals who are unemployed, on a low income, or claiming other benefits.

With the introduction of Universal Credit, the way Housing Benefit is claimed is changing.

Previously, if you were making a new claim for Housing Benefit you would only apply for this. But under the new system, you must apply for universal credit unless:

  • You and your partner who you live with are of pension age
  • You get other benefits including a severe disability premium
  • You’re staying in a refuge, hostel, or supported/temporary housing

If you meet any of the criteria above, you can make a direct claim for housing benefits.

Can housing benefit be used for private renting?

Housing benefit as part of universal credit can be used for private renting. The amount you receive for this will be based on how many people live in your home, not how many bedrooms you have.

How much am I entitled to for private renting?

Housing benefit rates are set by the Local Housing Association and are called Local Housing Allowance rates. They are calculated by taking into account the rents in your area that are being paid by people in similar circumstances to you. Therefore, it is impossible to say how much Housing Benefit you would be entitled to for private renting.

That being said, you can check Local Housing Allowance rates in your area here.

It is important to remember that how many bedrooms you are entitled to under LHA is not necessarily the same as how many bedrooms you have in your rented home. How many bedrooms you are eligible for takes into account:

  • How many people live in your household
  • How many couples live in your household
  • How many single people aged 16+ live in your household
  • How many children aged between 10-15 live in your household
  • How many children aged under 10 live in your household

Get help with Housing Benefit

The switch to Universal Credit is changing how applications for Housing Benefit are made. If you are unsure as to whether you can make an application for support in your rented accommodation, contact us today.

Our knowledgeable Advocates routinely provide free help and financial advice to individuals in Stafford & South Staffordshire. To get in touch, fill in the enquiry form below, give us a call, or find your nearest drop-in session.