Housing benefit payments on more than one home

Exceptional situations where housing benefit can be paid on more than one home for a limited period or indefinitely.

This content applies to England

Up to four weeks

Housing benefit is payable on two homes for up to four weeks in the following circumstances:[1]

  • where the claimant moved in to a new home, and it is unavoidable that they pay rent on it and their previous home. The four weeks starts from the date the claimant moved in. If there is no rent due on the new home, housing benefit can be paid for up to four weeks on just the old home

  • where the claimant is waiting for their new home to be adapted to meet a disability need of theirs, or a member of their family. The term 'adapt' must not be interpreted restrictively, and can include works such as redecoration or installing carpet.[2] In this case only, the claimant can be awarded housing benefit on both the home they are waiting to move into and the home they are currently living in, during those four weeks[3]

Up to 52 weeks or more

Housing benefit is payable on two homes:[4]

  • for up to 52 weeks if the claimant leaves their home because of fear of violence in that home but intends to return to the property, and it is considered reasonable for them to receive housing benefit for both properties. If the claimant leaves because of violence but does not intend to return, housing benefit can be paid for up to four weeks, for example if the claimant had to leave suddenly and is liable for rent during the notice period

  • indefinitely if, because of the size of the household, the claimant and their family have been housed by the local authority in two separate dwellings

Last updated: 12 March 2021

Footnotes

  • [1]

    reg 7(6),(8) and (10) Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 SI 2006/213; reg 7(6), (8) and (10) Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for pension credit) Regulations 2006 SI 2006/214, as amended by Social Security (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No.5) Regulations 2006 SI 2006/3274; each as amended by Social Security (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No 5) Regulations 2007 SI 2007/2618.

  • [2]

    R (on the application of Mahmoudi) v Lewisham LBC [2014] EWCA Civ 284; see HB Circular A4/2014 and DMG Memo 6/14.

  • [3]

    reg 7(6) Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 SI 2006/213; reg 7(8) Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for pension credit) Regulations 2006 SI 2006/214.

  • [4]

    reg 7(6)Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 SI 2006/213; reg 7(6) Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for pension credit) Regulations 2006 SI 2006/214, as amended by Social Security (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No.5) Regulations 2006 SI 2006/3274; each as amended by Social Security (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No 5) Regulations 2007 SI 2007/2618.