Universal credit or housing benefit can sometimes help to cover the costs of 2 homes at the same time or before you move in.
When you can get benefits for 2 homes
Waiting for disability adaptations
You can get help with housing costs for both your old and new home if:
- your new tenancy has started and you have to pay rent there
- disability adaptations need to be made to your new home for you, your partner or any dependent children
You can only get help with housing costs on both homes or before moving in for up to:
- a month if you claim universal credit
- 4 weeks if you claim housing benefit
If you get universal credit, the disabled family member must be getting one of the following benefits to receive this help:
- DLA – middle or high rate care component
- attendance allowance
- PIP – daily living component
Fear of violence
If you’ve had to move out because of violence or fear of violence, your benefits can help to cover the rent on your old home and the place you’re staying now.
You can get this help for up to a year, as long as you intend to move back into your old home.
If you claim universal credit and don’t intend to return to your home, you’ll only get help with the costs of your current home.
If you claim housing benefit and don’t intend to go back to your old home, you’ll get help with the rent on both homes for up to 4 weeks.
The violence could be directed at you or someone you live with. It could be actual violence or the threat of violence.
Where you fear violence in your home, it’s not restricted to threats, abuse or harm from your husband, wife or other family members. Fear of violence from neighbours or others or fear of racial attacks on your home also count.
Where you fear violence outside of your home, the threat must be from a:
- former partner if you claim universal credit
- former partner or a child or young person you were responsible for if you claim housing benefit
You’ll have to apply for housing benefit to help pay your rent in supported accommodation like a hostel or refuge if you haven’t claimed benefits before.
Housed in 2 homes by the council
You can get help with the rent from benefits on both places if the council or a housing association has put you in 2 homes because your family is too large for 1.
This help will last for as long as you need it.
If you have to pay rent for 2 homes
You can only get this help if you claim housing benefit.
If you’ve moved into your new home, you can sometimes get housing benefit paid for both your old and new home for up to 4 weeks.
You must show that you couldn’t avoid an overlap between the end of your old tenancy and the start of your new one.
For example, you had to:
- accept the tenancy at your new home immediately, but still had to give notice to end the tenancy at your old home. This means you have to pay rent on 2 places until your old tenancy ends
- move out of a home that's been damaged by fire or flood but still have to pay rent and give notice to the landlord you're leaving
How to get this help
If you claim:
- housing benefit – tell the council that your circumstances are changing
- universal credit – leave a message in your journal or call the universal credit helpline. Call 0800 328 5644 Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm
Still need help?
Last updated 15 January 2019 | © Shelter
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