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

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

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

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