How housing benefit is calculated

Rent

The maximum housing benefit you can get is the same as your eligible rent. This may not be the same as your full rent.

Housing association

If you are the tenant of a housing association, such as Aspire Housing or Sanctuary Housing, then your housing benefit will be calculated on the rent actually charged by your landlord, less any ineligible charges.

Size criteria

From April 2013, the government introduced a 'size criteria' which limits how many bedrooms your family can receive benefit for. It only affects people of working age who claim housing benefit, so if you (or your partner) are not claiming Housing Benefit, or are old enough to claim Pension Credit, you will not be affected. If you are under the Pension Credit qualifying age, you will be be treated as working age and subject to the size criteria.

Private landlord

If you are a tenant of a private landlord, in most cases your housing benefit will be calculated under the Local Housing Allowance scheme and will be based on the amount of bedrooms you require regardless of how many are in the property. Therefore, you may have something to pay towards your rent even if you receive a low income.