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Rent increases if you get benefits

Your benefits do not usually go up if your private rent goes up.

Universal credit and housing benefit are based on your local housing allowance (LHA) rate.

LHA rates go up in April 2024 after a 4 year freeze. Your rent may still not be covered in full.

Should you pay the new rent?

Your landlord can ask you to pay a higher rent if you rent privately.

They might do this in conversation, by text or email, or by asking you to sign a new agreement.

The new rent applies if you:

  • agree to pay it

  • sign a new agreement at the higher rent

  • pay the higher amount - even if you do not sign a new agreement

You do not have to agree to a rent increase or sign a new agreement. You can take some time to think about it.

If you agree to a new rent, make sure it's clear when it starts.

What if you do not agree to the new rent?

Your landlord could increase your rent in an assured shorthold tenancy if:

Sometimes you can challenge a section 13 rent increase.

Can you be evicted if you do not agree?

Your landlord might take steps to make you leave if you:

  • stop paying your rent

  • challenge a rent increase

  • do not agree to the increase

Your landlord must follow the legal process if they want you to leave.

The process starts with an eviction notice from your landlord.

Your landlord can evict you easily if you're a lodger and you dispute the rent.

Negotiate with your landlord

Explain your situation.

Your landlord may not want to have to find a new tenant. They might agree to a smaller rent increase or no increase. Get any agreement in writing.

Look for somewhere cheaper to rent

If you decide to find somewhere cheaper, your landlord might agree not to put the rent up while you're looking.

Find out how to find landlords who accept benefits.

Get benefits and money advice

You can get a benefits check from Citizens Advice or use an online calculator.

Contact National Debtline for money and budgeting advice.

Ask the council for help

You could get a discretionary housing payment if your benefits do not cover your rent.

Contact the homelessness team if:

  • you cannot pay your rent

  • your landlord pressures you to leave or harasses you about rent

The council could help you stay in your home or find somewhere else to live.

Last updated: 2 April 2024

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