Dealing with a rent increase if you claim benefits
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 instant message 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
If you agree to a new rent, make sure it's clear when it starts.
What happens if you do not agree to the new rent
Most private renters have assured shorthold tenancies.
With this type of tenancy, your landlord could increase your rent with a notice.
Sometimes you can challenge a rent increase.
Can you be evicted?
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.
If your benefits do not cover a rent increase
Benefits will only cover rent that is less than your local housing allowance (LHA) rate.
The government has frozen LHA rates so they're not set to increase at the moment.
There are still steps you can take if you're facing an increase in your rent.
Explain your circumstances. Your landlord may not want to have to find a new tenant.
They might agree to let you stay until you find somewhere cheaper.
Get benefits and money advice
Contact National Debtline for money and budgeting advice.
Contact the council
You could get a discretionary housing payment from the council if your benefits do not cover your rent.
Contact the homelessness team if:
your landlord has threatened to evict you
you cannot pay your rent
They could help you negotiate a lower rent or look into other options to help you stay in your home.
Look for somewhere cheaper to rent
Look for a landlord who accepts benefits if you decide you want to move.
Last updated: 4 March 2022