Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.
Rent Issues: Temporary Absence - Fleeing Violence

NOTE: If the claimant is staying away from home outside of the GB then they will fall under the 'Going Abroad' rules - click here.

If the claimant has to leave home because of fear of violence they can continue to receive HB on the empty property as long as:

  • Their total absence is not going to exceed 52 weeks, and
  • They intend to return, and
  • They have not sublet the property, and 
  • They have a 'live' HB claim.

Standard Letter CC8. HB Regulation 7 para 16(c)(x)

What if they need help with the rent on two homes?

If they are staying in rented accommodation and need HB on two homes click here.

What if they do not intend to return?

If they do not intend to return they can only get HB on the home they have left for up to four weeks. Standard Letter CC6. HB Regulation 7 para 10

If they initially intended to return within 52 weeks, but hand their notice in, they are covered under the temporary absence rules up to the day they decide that they are not going to return, and can then request HB for their notice period as well under the four week rule. CIS/543/93. 

What constitutes fear of violence? 

If the claimant has left because they fear violence from a member or former member of their family eg former partner, that violence could be expected anywhere.

But if the violence is from some other person, they must fear that they will be attacked in their normal home or garden or communal area.

The violence does not have to have actually happened, but it must be a reasonable fear. Evidence of having contacted the police will be useful.

Someone else left in the property? 

If the claimant has left, and is unable to claim HB (for example they may not intend to return, or may exceed the 52 week time limit) then there may be someone left in the property who could claim instead such as a grown up child.

Other people left in the property may in certain circumstances be treated as liable for the rent even if they are not the tenant or tenants partner. They can then claim HB themselves. Click here for more details and standard letters.

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