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Benefit on two homes

Housing Benefit can normally only be paid in respect of one property at any one time.

  • The following are the exceptions to this rule:
  • If you have left home through violence or fear of violence you may be able to claim benefit on your home and your temporary accommodation for a maximum period of 52 weeks
  • Where you have moved into a new home other than a temporary home, if your liability to make payments on both homes is unavoidable, you may be able to claim housing benefit on both for a maximum period of 4 weeks if you have moved into your new home.
  • You may also be able to claim housing benefit for a maximum of 4 weeks on two homes if your new home requires adaptation to meet the needs of a disabled member of your family.

You cannot have benefit on two homes to allow you to decorate prior to moving in.
Generally you need to be resident at the new property and to have fully vacated the old property and returned the keys to the landlord, to be considered for benefit to be paid on two homes.

This only applies to claimants on Housing Benefit, It does not apply to the Housing Element of Universal Credit

Rent payable prior to occupation

Housing Benefit is not payable until you actually occupy a property - even if you are liable to pay rent.
However, in certain circumstances you can claim benefit for a maximum period of 4 weeks before you move;

  • If your move was delayed pending the outcome of a social fund application for a payment in connection with the move and your family includes a child aged 6 or under or you qualify for a disability or pensioner premium or
  • If you become liable to pay rent while you were an inpatient in hospital or in residential care or a nursing home

NB: These conditions only apply if you were not liable to make payments for any other accommodation.

If you have any further queries, please contact us.