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Payments on more than one home

This content applies to England

Situations where housing benefit can be paid on more than one home.

Housing benefit is payable on two homes in the following circumstances:[1]

  • for up to four weeks from the date on which the claimant moved in to a new home, and it is unavoidable that s/he pays rent on it and her/his previous home. If there is no rent due on her/his new home, housing benefit can be paid for up to four weeks on just the old home
  • for up to four weeks if the claimant is waiting for her/his new home to be adapted to meet a disability need of her/his, or a member of her/his family. The term 'adapt' must not be interpreted restrictively, and can include works such as redecoration or installing carpet.[2] In this case only, the claimant can be awarded housing benefit on both the home s/he is waiting to move into and the home s/he is currently living in, during those four weeks[3]
  • for up to 52 weeks if the claimant leaves her/his home because of fear of violence in that home but intends to return to the property, and it is considered reasonable for her/him to receive housing benefit for both properties. If the claimant leaves because of violence but does not intend to return, housing benefit can be paid for up to four weeks, for example if the claimant had to leave suddenly and is liable for rent during the notice period. (for information on the cross-government definition of 'domestic violence and abuse' see the Definition of domestic violence page)
  • indefinitely if, because of the size of the household, the claimant and her/his family have been housed by the local authority in two separate dwellings.

[1] reg 7(6),(8) and (10) Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 SI 2006/213; reg 7(6), (8) and (10) Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for pension credit) Regulations 2006 SI 2006/214, as amended by Social Security (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No.5) Regulations 2006 SI 2006/3274; each as amended by Social Security (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No 5) Regulations 2007 SI 2007/2618.

[2] R (on the application of Mahmoudi) v Lewisham LBC [2014] EWCA Civ 284; see HB Circular A4/2014 and DMG Memo 6/14.

[3] reg 7(6) Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 SI 2006/213; reg 7(8) Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for pension credit) Regulations 2006 SI 2006/214.

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