If you are on a low income you may be able to claim Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support to help pay your rent and Council Tax bill. You can claim Housing benefit whether you are employed or unemployed and you do not have savings/capital over £16,000.
Please note that Universal Credit is now operational for all postcode areas in the Hart District area and support for housing costs for most new claims is now covered by Universal Credit and housing benefit is not payable. Here you can see our useful guide on Universal Credit in Hart.
If you are making a new claim, the easiest way to check if you are in a postcode area where Universal Credit is operating and whether you may be entitled to housing benefit is to use the online benefits calculator before completing the online form. Here you can claim online for housing benefits. If you are entitled to claim for Universal Credit there will be a link at the end of the benefits calculator which you can use to go to the relevant website.
If you rent from a private landlord
If you rent accommodation from a private landlord or agency the amount of rent we can allow when we work out your entitlement to Housing Benefit is limited by the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate.
Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is a flat rate that is set by the Valuation Office Agency for properties in the Hart area for a 12 month period from 1st April each year. The Hart area is divided into 3 broad rental market areas, to find out which broad market area a property is in visit Local Housing Allowance.
The LHA rate used to work out the Housing Benefit you are entitled to is based on how many bedrooms your household is assessed to need and if you are single and under 35. Visit to calculate how many rooms you are eligible to.
The Local Housing Allowance does not apply to:
- Housing association tenants
- Tenants with a registered ’fair rent’
- Tenants with tenancies starting before 1989
- Tenancies provided by charitable or voluntary organisations which also include care, support or supervision
- Tenants living in caravans, mobile homes and house boats
- Tenants where the rent includes a substantial element of board
If you are a Housing Association Tenant and are of working age your Housing Benefit will be reduced if you live in accommodation with more bedrooms than your household requires:
- One extra bedroom the amount we allow as your rent is reduced by 14%
- Two or more extra bedrooms the amount we allow as your rent is reduced by 25%
Full details about who is eligible for Housing Benefit are available from Gov.UK.
Reporting Housing Benefit fraud
You can report suspected Housing Benefit fraud in three ways:
Online at - www.gov.uk/report-benefit-fraud
By telephone - Contact the National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 854 440. Your call is free and confidential you do not have to give your name or address. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8.00am to 6.00pm. If you have speech or hearing problems you can use a text phone service on 0800 328 0512 or Welsh speakers can call on 0800 678 3722.
By Post - NBFH, PO Box 224, Preston PR1 1GP
How to contact Housing Benefit
Phone: 01252 622122
Write to: Hart District Council, Benefits Service, PO Box 227, Erith, DA8 9GX