Housing Benefit for private tenants

Liability to pay rent

If you pay rent to a private landlord it will be necessary for you to provide proof of your rent and to show that you have entered into a legally binding agreement with your landlord. We will be checking this carefully and will need to see your original tenancy agreement and/or rent card.

If the arrangements with your landlord are not on a proper commercial basis or we feel that you and your landlord have created an arrangement to take advantage of the Housing Benefit scheme you will not be entitled to Benefit.

You will not be entitled to Housing Benefit if you:

  • rent a former joint home from your ex-partner
  • are responsible for a child of your landlord
  • rent your accommodation from a company of which you are a director or employee
  • rent your home from a trust of which you are a trustee or beneficiary
  • rent your accommodation from a trust of which your child is a beneficiary
  • rent specific accommodation as a condition of your employment
  • live with your landlord, who is a close relative

Service charges

On the application form you are required to show whether your rent includes any service charges such as heating, lighting, hot water, cooking, water charges or meals etc. If your Housing Benefit is assessed using the rules in place prior to 7 April 2008 the Housing Benefit scheme does not cover these items and the Rent Officer will decide how much will be deducted from your rent for these charges irrespective of the amount you actually pay. You must pay the difference to your landlord.