How to find landlords that accept tenants claiming benefits

Find out how to look for a landlord who will rent to you if you need to claim housing benefit or housing costs under universal credit.

Search for landlords who accept benefits

Landlords shouldn’t refuse to rent to you just because you claim benefits, but some do.

You should be able to find a landlord who accepts benefits on:

Your local council may keep a list of private landlords who accept tenants on housing benefit or housing costs under universal credit. Ask their housing options or housing advice service.

Find your local council on GOV.UK

Ask if benefits can be paid directly to your landlord

Some landlords will rent to tenants claiming benefits if they are paid directly to them.

If you claim housing benefit you can ask the council to pay your housing benefit directly to your landlord.

If you claim housing costs under universal credit, you can ask for this to be paid to your landlord in some circumstances.

Show you’ll be a good tenant

If a landlord doesn’t specifically say they accept tenants claiming benefits, some may consider renting to you if you can show that you’ll pay rent on time and keep your home in a good condition.

It will help if you can give a landlord:

  • copies of wage slips or bank statements
  • letters confirming you can claim housing benefit or housing costs under universal credit
  • details of your recent housing history – where you’ve lived and for how long
  • references from previous landlords

You could also:

  • offer to pay more than one month’s rent in advance
  • explain why it’s important you live in that area

Find a guarantor

A guarantor is someone who signs a contract agreeing to pay rent or cover damage to a property if you don’t. It’s usually a friend or family member.

A landlord may be more likely to rent to you if they have the additional insurance of a guarantor.

Last updated 23 November 2018 | © Shelter

If you need to talk to someone, we’ll do our best to help

Get help

Get the government to build more social housing

You have the power to make sure they provide affordable housing for all those who need it

Sign the petition Sign the petition

Email a link to this article

Thank you - your message has been sent.

Sorry! - your message has not been sent this time.

Was this advice helpful?

Thank you - your feedback has been submitted to the team.

Sorry! - your message has not been sent this time.