How much of your rent counts for Housing Benefit
We may not use all the rent your landlord charges to work out your Housing Benefit:
- Housing Benefit does not cover some service charges like heating, water and meals, so we take them off the rent you are charged before we work out your benefit.
- If you are a private tenant and the Local Housing Allowance rules apply to you, we use a flat rate rent, based on the size of accommodation you need. The Valuation Office Agency (used to be called The Rent Service) set the amount.
- If you are a private tenant and the Local Housing Allowance rules don't apply to you, we ask the Valuation Office Agency for a valuation for your property. They will look at whether the rent is too high for the property, too high for the area you live in, or whether the property is too large for your needs.
- If you are a single person under 35, have no children living with you, are renting from a private landlord and the Local Housing Allowance rules don't apply to you, your Housing Benefit will be worked out using a 'single-room rent' set by the Valuation Office Agency . If you were previously in care or you are disabled you won't be affected by this rule. And you won't be affected if you're aged 25 to 34 and have lived in a hostel for homeless people for at least three months or you're a certain kind of ex-offender.
- If you are a joint tenant we will only count your share of the rent when we work out your benefit.
Note: If you are currently looking for privately-rented accommodation and are considering moving into either board and lodgings, a caravan, a houseboat, a mobile home or a hostel you could get an idea of how much help you would get with your rent before you sign up for the tenancy. Download this pre-tenancy determination form or ring 0161 455 1010 and we will send you a form. You could pick up a form from our Customer Service Centre at Ground Floor (Mount Street Entrance), Town Hall Extension, Albert Square if you prefer. Return the fully filled-in form to us and we will send it to the Valuation Office Agency.