Claiming benefits for two homes

Universal credit or housing benefit can only normally help with rent for one home.

You must:

  • live there as your main home

  • have to pay rent to live there

Paying rent for more than one home

If you have to pay rent at 2 properties, you could claim for both homes in these situations:

  • you've left your usual home because of fear of violence

  • you're waiting for disability adaptations on your new home

  • you've moved within the last 4 weeks and still have to pay rent for your old home - housing benefit claims only

You can also get help with rent on both homes if you're housed by the council in 2 properties because of the size of your family.

Away from home due to fear of violence

If you've left temporarily because of fear of violence, you could get help with both:

You can get this help for up to a year but only if you plan to return to your usual home within this time.

Contact your council if you need help to find somewhere safe

Fear of violence in your home includes:

  • domestic abuse from a partner, former partner or relative

  • violence from others, for example, racist attacks on your home or serious threats from neighbours

Waiting for disability adaptations

You could get help with rent for both your old and new home if both:

  • your new tenancy has started and you have to pay rent

  • you cannot move into your new home because you're waiting for disability adaptations, for example, a ramp or accessible bathroom

The adaptations could be for you or a disabled household member.

If you get universal credit, you can only get this help if you, your partner or a dependent child gets one of the following benefits:

  • attendance allowance

  • personal independence payment (PIP) – daily living component

  • disability living allowance (DLA) – middle or high care component

If you qualify, you can only get help with rent on both homes for up to a month.

If you've moved within the last 4 weeks

You can sometimes get help with rent at your old home and your new home for up to 4 weeks but only if:

  • you get housing benefit

  • there's an unavoidable overlap with your tenancies when you move

For example, if you had to accept and move in a council home quickly but also had to give notice on your private tenancy.

You must have moved into your new home to get help with rent there.

Reporting changes when you move home

It's important to report changes promptly if you move out temporarily or permanently.

Find out how a change of circumstances affects universal credit

Find out about moving from housing benefit to universal credit

Still need help?

Last updated: 7 March 2022

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