Universal credit has replaced housing benefit for most working age people.
Before your tenant can claim housing benefit they should check to see if they should be claiming universal credit instead.
They should claim universal credit now if they do not fall into one of the exceptions below. If they do fall into an exception, they need to claim housing benefit.
Your tenant should apply for housing benefit if any of the following apply to them:
- they are a pensioner
- they live in supported accommodation - they will need to claim universal credit for living costs and housing benefit for their housing costs
- they live in temporary accommodation provided or arranged through the council - they will need to claim universal credit for living costs and housing benefit for their housing costs
- they are entitled to a severe disability premium as part of any of the following benefits that they receive or have had a break of claim of less than one month and still satisfy the qualifying conditions for a severe disability premium
- Jobseeker's Allowance (Income based)
- Employment Support Allowance (Income Related)
- Income Support
Anyone who pays rent to a landlord can claim if they fall into one of the above exceptions, although a person who pays rent and lives in the same household as a 'close relative' may not get benefit. In housing benefit terms, close relatives are a:
- son or daughter
- step parent
- step-son or stepdaughter
- son-in-law or daughter-in-law
- brother or sister or partner of any of these people
We cannot consider your tenant for housing benefit if the tenant or their partner:
- were previously living with you as your partner in this property
- are responsible for a child and you are the parent of that child
- are director or employee of the company from whom they are renting
- are renting from a trust of which their child is the beneficiary
- occupy the property as a condition of their employment
We may not be able to pay housing benefit where either the tenant or their partner have previously owned the property they are now renting.