Housing benefit is a social security benefit which helps people on low income with their housing costs. It can cover rent, rates and some service charges. There are different systems for working out housing benefit for social tenants, who rent from the Housing Executive or housing associations, and for private tenants, who rent from a private landlord or agent.
If you are on a low income, you may be entitled to benefits to help you pay your rent. Most people who rent privately have their entitlement to benefit worked out under a system called Local Housing Allowance.
If you don't already get Housing Benefit, you can only make a new claim for it if you get a Severe Disability Premium as part of your other benefits or if you are over pension age. You also need to have a responsibility to pay rent or rates. If you can't apply for Housing Benefit, you may be able to get help to pay your rent by applying for Universal Credit.
Renting a home from a private landlord or through an agent could be an option, but there are potential problems which you should be aware of before taking on a tenancy. Know your rights and responsibilities.
Most students who aren’t living at home will either move into housing provided by their college or university or find somewhere to rent privately. Check the college’s website or prospectus for information on the housing options it provides.