Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit helps people on a low income to pay their rent. You can claim it if you rent your main home from us, a housing association or a private landlord.

With the introduction of Universal Credit, Housing Benefit is no longer available to all residents,  depending on your circumstances you might need to claim help with your housing costs through Universal Credit instead. 

Housing Benefit eligibility

Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent if you're unemployed, on a low income or claiming benefits. It's being replaced by Universal Credit.

You can make a new claim for Housing Benefit if either of the following apply:

  • you and your partner, if you have one, have reached State Pension age
  • you're in supported, sheltered or temporary housing

For more information about entitlement to and claiming 'Universal Credit'.  


To see if you are eligible, we will look at you and your partner's joint income and capital, taking into account who lives with you. To apply for Housing Benefit.

Housing Benefit cannot help with mortgage repayments, however the Department for Work and Pensions can offer support for mortgage interest in certain circumstances.

You can't usually get Housing Benefit if you:

  • live with and pay rent to a close relative
  • used to live with your landlord as a member of your family
  • are renting a home you used to share with an ex-partner
  • are responsible for the landlord's child
  • used to own the property which you now rent
  • live in the home as part of your job
  • live in a care home
  • are a full-time student
  • have savings of £16,000 or more, unless you or your partner receives Pension Credit Guarantee.
If you are a private tenant we usually pay Housing Benefit directly into your bank account every two weeks, on a Friday. If you are a council tenant your Housing Benefit will be credited to your rent account. If we pay your landlord direct, we pay her/him every four weeks in arrears.
Sometimes we can pay extra money to people who are entitled to Housing Benefit if they need more help with their housing costs. This is at our discretion and we only have a limited fund each year.
If you have a low income we may be able to help pay your Council Tax.
The Housing Benefit Award Accuracy initiative is funded by Department for Work & Pensions requiring Runnymede Benefits department to undertake mandated activities to identify unreported changes of circumstances. The mandated activities are: • HB Full Case Reviews • HB Matching Service referrals, including: - self-employed Earnings Reviews