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Payment of Benefit on Two Homes

Claiming Housing Benefit on Two Homes

Housing benefit is normally only paid for the rent you pay on one home. There are a few exceptions to this and you may be able to get extra help if:

  • you have moved into other rented accommodation due to fear of violence
  • you are a student or trainee, are one of a couple, and have to live in separate rented accommodation from your partner
  • you have a large family and the council has housed you in two properties
  • you have moved to a new home which you pay rent on and still have to pay rent on your old home.

If you think any of these may apply to you, you will find more details below.

Fear of violence

You may get benefit if you have left your former home and are staying away because of violence or fear of violence. This can be either in your home by another person, or outside your home by a former member of your family. We always have to consider if it is reasonable to pay benefit and we may pay for up to 52 weeks. For benefit to be paid you must intend to return and live in the home you left.

Students or trainees

Couples who are living in separate rented accommodation may receive benefit for both properties. We must agree that you cannot avoid living in separate accommodation and that it is reasonable to pay benefit on both homes. There is no time limit on these payments.

Large families

If you have a large family and you have been housed in two separate homes because your household is too large to be placed in one home, we can pay benefit for both properties. To qualify, both properties must be public housing (whether or not provided directly by the council) and should be next to each other or within a few streets of each other.

Unavoidable overlap

If you have moved to a new home which you rent and still have to pay rent on your old home, you may be able to get some help. The situation has to be unavoidable, for example if you were offered a new home to rent but were unable to give your old landlord the notice they needed.

How to apply‌

If you wish to apply for benefit on two homes, please complete an online application to claim benefit on two homes or contact us and we will send you one in the post.

What if I disagree with the Council’s decision?

If you disagree with the decision you can ask us to look at your claim again. You must contact us within one month of the date of the decision letter. You can phone, write or visit us and ask us to explain the decision. Also, you can ask for a written statement of reasons, which will show more information about the decision. If you are still not satisfied, you can make an appeal. Please contact us and we will give you more advice.



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