Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.
Rent Issues: Occupying


  • To get Housing Benefit a person must occupy the property as their normal home. But in some situations people can be treated as occupying it - when moving in, moving out or where they are temporarily absent.

  • 'Occupying' is not defined in the HB Regulations and therefore takes its ordinary meaning - it means the place where the claimant lives as their normal home (eg a Night Shelter may not count as a home if the claimant has to leave in the morning and take all their belongings with them and have no definite right to stay the following night ([2013] UKUT 65(AAC)).

  • In a few circumstances HB can be paid for two homes - when they are moving home / their 'normal' home and on the temporary accommodation where the tenant is now staying.

  • If the tenant has left, is unable to claim HB, and is not paying the rent, then in certain circumstances the person left living at the home can be treated as liable for the rent even if they are not the tenant. They can then claim HB themselves.

  • Anyone who is absent from the property and not regarded as 'temporarily absent' - because they do not intend to return within the relevant time period - is thereby regarded as 'permanently absent' so not allocated a bedroom under Bedroom Tax or LHA rules.

Moving In

When should HB be paid from the tenancy start date?

Moving Out

When can HB be paid for a notice period even if the claimant has left?

Two Homes

When can HB be paid for two home at the same time ie overlapping tenancies?

Temporary Absences

When can HB be paid if the claimant is away from the property but intends to return?


How does HB work when the claimant has been decanted due to repair work?

Find out more....

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