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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Private rented housing benefit

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

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. 

 

The amount of housing benefit that is paid to single people aged under 35 who rent privately is often restricted. There are some exemptions that apply.

All tenants have a legal right to apply for housing benefit to help them with their housing costs. You should get to know how housing benefit is calculated and paid.

Every tenant has a right to apply for housing benefit. However, most students at university or college are not entitled to it, unless they fall into certain categories.

Your tenants are obliged to keep their rental accounts up to date. If a tenant is late with rent or hasn't paid in full, you should contact them to find out what has happened.

If someone has to pay rent or rates for their home and is on a low income, they can make a claim for housing benefit. There are some people who cannot apply for housing benefit.

Private tenants who claim help with their rent will get either Universal Credit or Housing Benefit. There are two different systems used to calculate how much Housing Benefit someone will get. In most cases, the Local Housing Allowance rules will be used to calculate how much Housing Benefit or Universal Credit a private tenant gets to help with rent. But, if you have tenants living in protected tenancies or tenants who have continuously been receiving Housing Benefit since before April 2008 without a change in circumstances their benefits will be calculated using the old Housing Benefit rules that existed before 2008. 

The amount of benefits tenants get towards rent will not always match up to the amount of rent you charge. Instead, the amount of benefit paid depends on the size of the claimant's household, their personal circumstances and the area in which they live.

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