Claiming benefits for 2 homes

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:

Still need help?

Find out where to get advice about benefits.

Last updated 15 January 2019 | © Shelter

If you need to talk to someone, we’ll do our best to help

Get help

Get the government to build more social housing

You have the power to make sure they provide affordable housing for all those who need it

Sign the petition Sign the petition

Email a link to this article

Thank you - your message has been sent.

Sorry! - your message has not been sent this time.

Was this advice helpful?

Thank you - your feedback has been submitted to the team.

Sorry! - your message has not been sent this time.