In the United Kingdom, there are certain housing benefit rules that are applicable to people who are single and under 35 years of age. This article will give a brief overview of these rules and explain how you can take advantage of them.
Before you apply for housing benefit, it is advisable to use a benefits calculator to confirm if you are eligible. There are instances when you might be required to claim Universal Credit. For you to qualify for housing benefit, these are the requirements:
- Your savings are below £16,000
- You pay rent
- You are claiming benefits or have a low income
You are eligible to apply for the program, no matter if employed or unemployed. However, if you are living with a partner, only one person will get a housing benefit. If you qualify, you will be in a position to get a benefit for a single room in shared accommodation or a bed-sitter accommodation, if you are a lone.
Who is not eligible for a housing benefit?
- You have saving of more than £16,000
- You are sponsored to be in UK or an asylum seeker
- You are a full-time student
- You live in a relative’s home
- You are living in the country as an European Economic Area jobseeker
- You are under immigration control
The Shared accommodation rate
This refers to the rent level that is allowed for an individual who can afford one bedroom and shares a living room, kitchen and bathroom within the conditions of the tenancy agreement. In such a case, you can get housing benefit at the rate of a single shared room. This means that you may not get enough money to pay the house rent.
What happens to those who are under 35 and are renting privately?
In a situation where you have rented self-contained house, you are eligible for the local housing allowance rate for a one-bedroom house on the condition that:
- You haven’t been paid housing benefit in the previous year
- You were able to cater for your rent when you moved in.
In such a scenario, housing benefit will cover your house rent for the first 13 weeks. After the 13 weeks, you can only get the rate of shared accommodation.
Full-time students are no eligible to claim housing benefit although there are a few exceptions. Part-time students who rent privately are allowed to claim housing benefit. Those who live in university owned housing are allowed to claim housing benefit if they fall into specific categories.
Additional Factors that are taken into account when determining housing benefits
After the Housing Executive decides on the rent level that will be used for the calculation of the benefit size, they must conduct a means test and consider all non-dependant deductions.
The Executive will evaluate your weekly income to determine whether it is higher than what the government recommends. If so, you must use some of the money to pay your rent and contribute towards rates and charges.
Non Dependant Deductions
If you have a roommate, the Housing Executive may reduce the housing benefit that will be awarded to you.