When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Video guide to Housing Benefit for private tenants

If you rent your home from a private landlord or through an estate or letting agent your entitlement to benefit to help with rent will be calculated under the Local Housing Allowance rules.  This video explains how this system works and what other help is available if your benefits don't cover your full rent. 

You can get help to pay your rent if you are a private renter and have a low income. 

If you are claiming help for the first time you should claim

  • housing benefit if you are over pension age, or
  • Universal Credit if you are under pension age.

You can ask for extra help if your benefits do not cover your full rent. This extra help is a Discretionary Housing Payment or DHP. The Housing Executive makes these payments.

The government restricts the amount of benefits it will give to private renters who are under 35. Your housing benefits will only cover the cost of renting a room in a shared property, unless

  • you have a partner living with you, or
  • your household includes children, or
  • you meet one of the exceptions to this rule.