Benefits and support How your circumstances affect Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

Housing Benefit may not cover all your rent

Housing Benefit does not cover some service charges that are included in your rent. We take off charges for heating, water and meals before we work out your benefit.

If the Local Housing Allowance rules apply to you, we use a flat rate rent set by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) based on the size of accommodation you need.

If you are a private tenant and the LHA rules don't apply to you, we ask the VOA for a valuation for your property. They look at whether the rent is too high for the property or for the area, or whether the property is too large for your needs.

If you are a private tenant and the LHA rules don't apply to you and you are single, under 35, have no children living with you, the VOA will value your property based on a 'single-room rent' (probably lower than the rent you are charged), unless:

  • you were previously in care or are disabled; or
  • 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 only count your share of the rent when we work out your benefit.

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. Return the completed form to us and we will send it to the VOA.

Claim Housing Benefit

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