Temporary absence from home

We can usually only pay Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support to a person who lives in a property as their home. However, in some circumstances, we can continue to pay you if you are away from home temporarily.

Temporary absence from home

When you are receiving housing benefit and council tax support you are required to be living in the property for which you are claiming benefit. There are certain exceptions to this rule which mean that some people can continue to claim housing benefit during periods of absence.

Reporting an absence

If it is clear that you will be away from your property for a length of time, please tell us before you leave send an e-mail to benefits@runnymede.gov.uk We need to know the following:

  • Please write your claim reference number in the subject title of your e-mail and on documents you send in. If you do this, we should be able to make a decision on your claim quicker.
  • The likely period of your absence, the date you are leaving and the date you expect to return.   
  • The reason for your absence.
  • A statement confirming that you will return to live in your property and that you will not let or sub-let it during your absence.
  • Depending on the length of your absence, you may need to apply for Universal Credit and Council Tax Support again on your return.

During your absence

If any of the following change during your absence you need to tell us straight away:

  • if you decide not to return to the property
  • if your reason for absence changes
  • if your absence is likely to be for longer than expected.

Temporary Absence guide

For more information on the temporary absence rules and time limits that apply in different situations, please download the PDF icon Temporary Absence Chart

Get in touch about benefits

The quickest way to contact us is by using our online forms which are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need to speak to us give us a call and talk to our Customer Services team who will be happy to help. Alternatively, you can email the service direct.