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Apply for Housing Benefit

If you are living on a low income, you may be able to apply for Housing Benefit to help with paying your rent. 


To be eligible for Housing Benefit, you must live in the property you are claiming for and your name must be on your tenancy agreement, making you responsible for paying rent.

One of the following conditions must also apply to you.

  • You live in specified accommodation (supported accommodation where your landlord is a registered provider of social housing, a charity or not for profit organisation, or where we have housed you. Please contact us if you are unsure if this applies to you).
  • You receive the Severe Disability Premium in the assessment of your Employment Support Allowance, Income Support or Housing Benefit, or did so within the last month and continue to fulfil the qualifying conditions for this.
  • You are of pension age (for couples where one member is of pension age and the other is of working age, you will be treated as if both members are of working age). 
WarningIf none of the above apply to you, you will need to claim Universal Credit
More entitlement conditions for Housing Benefit
You cannot claim Housing Benefit if any of the following applies to you:


  • Rent your home from a close relative who lives with you
  • Rent your home from a former partner (if occupied as a couple before)
  • Responsible for your landlord's child or children
  • You are a full-time student in advanced education (unless you have children or a disability)
  • You have £16,000 or more in savings, investments and property between yourself and any partner (unless you receive Guaranteed Pension Credit)

Before you apply

Use the GOV.UK Benefits calculator to find out if you are entitled to Housing Benefit, or any other benefit.

To process a claim for Housing Benefit, we will need to see evidence of your circumstances. Please download our evidence leaflet for a list of documents you will need to provide when you apply.

Available support

How we assess your Housing Benefit will depend on who owns the property you live in.

Private landlord

We will use the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates to calculate how much benefit you could get.

Social landlord or housing association

If you are a social tenant who is working, you will receive benefit based on the number of bedrooms your household needs. Government guidelines state that one bedroom is allowed for each of the following occupants.

  • A couple
  • A person aged 16 or older
  • Two children of the same sex under the age of 16
  • Two children of the opposite sex under the age of 10
  • A carer who lives elsewhere, but may need to stay overnight to provide out of hours care to you or a household member

If your property has more bedrooms than these rules allow, we have to deduct an amount from our contribution to your rent payments. If you cannot afford to make up the extra amount to pay your rent in full, you could ask about moving to a smaller property, or renting out any unoccupied rooms in your home to a paying lodger.

How to apply


Before you apply you must check whether you are eligible for Housing Benefit using our online checker. If you are eligible, you will be able to complete an intention to claim form. If you are not eligible, you will be advised on what you should do next.

Check your eligibility online

By email or post

Download and complete our Housing Benefit application form, and email with supporting evidence to Or send a printed copy to Benefits, Lewis House, Manvers Street, Bath BA1 1JG.

Download Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support application form (PDF)

Download Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support application form (Word)

Please note, applications must be made online, by email, or by post, but you can call us for advice and support on 01225 47 77 77 and select the option for 'Benefits' (available Monday to Thursday 10am to 5pm, and Friday 10am to 4.30pm).

Next steps

We will review your claim within 10 working days.

If you can show evidence of a good reason for not claiming sooner, we may consider backdating payments by up to one month.

Any change in circumstances may affect your payments. Please tell us about a change as soon as possible.

Find out more about benefits by following the links in the panel on the right.