You must pay rent to your landlord in return for living in the property. If you stop paying your rent, are late with a payment or do not pay in full, your landlord may begin eviction proceedings against you.
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.
Private tenants can apply for extra housing benefit if the amount they are getting doesn't cover their rent. This is known as a discretionary housing payment. The Housing Executive decides whether you are entitled to extra benefit and how much you should get.
There are two assessment schemes for people who rent privately and claim housing benefit. The most common scheme is the Local Housing Allowance scheme, but in some cases a tenant will be assessed under different rules.