Benefit on two homes

Sometimes you may have to pay rent on two properties at the same time, for example when you’re moving home. If you already get housing benefit and council tax support, in some special circumstances you could receive benefit on two homes.

How do I apply for benefit on two homes?

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Read this page to see if you’re eligible.  If you are, ring our benefits advice line on 0300 1234 121 as soon as possible. 

For your old tenancy, you must provide:

  • Proof of the date you can stop paying rent on your old property
  • Proof of the date you gave your landlord notice that you were leaving the property
  • The date you actually moved out
  • Details of whether the property has been re-let and from what date

For your new tenancy, you must provide:

  • Proof of the date the tenancy was offered to you (usually your offer letter)
  • Proof of the date that you accepted the tenancy (usually your new tenancy agreement will show this)
  • Proof of the date you actually moved in to this address (if you used a removal firm or hired a vehicle, a receipt for this will show the date of move)
  • The reasons for the move and when you decided you were definitely leaving your previous property
  • If you’re a student,  information about your course and why it is unavoidable to have two properties

We can consider paying benefit on two homes if:

  • You are in fear of violence
  • You are a student or trainee
  • You are a large family
  • There is an unavoidable overlap while moving

Fear of violence

We may be able to pay benefit on two rented homes for up to a maximum of 52 weeks if you have left your home:

  • Through fear of violence in your home or, for example, from a family member or neighbour
  • Through fear of violence outside your home by a former member of your family, for example an ex-partner or adult child

Students or trainees

We can pay benefit on two homes if you or your partner is a student or on a training course and entitled to benefit, and it is:

  • Unavoidable that you need to have two homes
  • Reasonable in the circumstances that benefit should be paid on two homes

There is no time limit on the payment, as long as we are satisfied that living in two homes is unavoidable.

Large families

If we have housed your family in two separate properties because of the size of the family, we will treat you as living in both properties as your home and we will pay benefit on both. Both homes must have been provided by the Council.  They don’t have to be owned by the Council.

Unavoidable overlap while moving home

We can pay benefit for up to four weeks on both homes if:

  • You can’t move into your new home straight away because it is being adapted for a member of your family who is disabled
  • You have had to move in to your new home before the period of notice on your old home has ended and this was unavoidable