Information for Landlords

Help with housing costs

Most people of working age will claim for help with their housing costs as part of a claim for Universal Credit. For more details, see our Universal Credit page.

Universal Credit (UC) is a new simpler single monthly payment for people of working age in or out of work and will replace:

  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Income Support
  • Housing benefit

There are a few exceptions to people who will claim help with housing costs through Universal Credit, and who will claim Housing Benefit instead to have their housing costs paid by the local authority. If the answer to any of the following questions is YES then your tenant will need to claim housing benefit not Universal Credit:

  • Do they live in supported accommodation and receive care support or supervision from you as the landlord or by an organisation on your behalf?
  • Has your tenant been placed in temporary accommodation by the Housing Team as part of their duties under homelessness legislation?
  • Is your tenant a single person who has reached the qualifying age for pension credit, or are they a couple both of whom have reached the qualifying age for pension credit? (From 15 May 2019, both members of a couple need to have reached the qualifying age for pension credit in order to be able to claim housing benefit. Couples where the youngest partner is of working age will need to claim Universal Credit for help with their housing costs.)

If your tenant is on a low income, then they may be able to claim Housing benefit (if they meet one of the above criteria), and council tax support to help pay their rent and council tax. To apply, your tenant must complete an application form, which they can do online by visiting the Claiming housing benefit and/or council tax support page.

Housing benefit and council tax support are means tested and several factors are considered when deciding whether and how much they will receive:

  • The amount of rent payable
  • The council tax due on the property
  • The tenant’s income
  • How much savings the tenant has
  • Household composition
  • The amount set by government to reflect the basic needs of the claimant and family

Certain tenants are not entitled to housing benefit and council tax support, for example, if they are a close relative living with the landlord; a full time student (except in limited circumstances); or they have a non-commercial agreement.

Housing benefit is only payable for the "eligible rent". This includes:

  • Actual rent, or housing costs, for the property.
  • Charges for some services, such as lifts, communal laundry facilities or maintenance of children’s communal play areas.

The following charges will not be eligible for housing benefit and should not be included in the rent.

  • Water charges
  • Charges for heating, hot water, lighting, or fuel
  • Payments for food, laundry, cleaning or cooking
  • Costs that include telephone rental or TV licensing
  • Charges for the provision of care, support, or supervision

Contact details

Benefits Team

If you have an enquiry about benefits, send a message to the Benefits Team

If you wish to make a claim for housing benefit/council tax support but you are unable to claim using the online application, please contact us on the telephone number below.

Contact us

  • Contact us online
  • 01256 844844
  • Civic Offices
    London Road
    RG21 4AH
  • Opening hours
    Monday to Friday
    8.30am to 4.30pm