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Liability for rent on two homes

When the Housing Costs element can be paid for the rent of two properties

If you and/or your partner are responsible for paying the rent for two properties, Universal Credit may provide help towards both rents. It may be paid to you as part of the Housing Element. You will then need to pay your rent to your landlord(s) yourself.

If you are claiming for two properties, you may be asked to provide evidence of both rents.

Universal Credit will not provide help towards both rents if the second property is for a student living away from home.

Universal Credit will consider paying the Housing Element in the following circumstances:

Adaptations due to disability

If you are paying rent on two properties because your landlord needs to make adaptations (for example, a chair-lift or wheelchair ramp) to a new home, which delays the move to it. Universal Credit will only provide help towards both rents if a member of the benefit unit gets any of the following benefits:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance (care component at the middle or higher rate)
  • Personal Independence Payment (daily living component at either rate)
  • Constant Attendance Allowance (paid as part of Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit or War Disablement Benefit)

A benefit unit is the people in the household included in your benefit claim. This would be you and your partner if you have one and any children you have responsibility for. It wouldn't include non dependants, such as adult children or elderly relatives who live with you.

Fear of Violence

If you or a member of your benefit unit goes to live elsewhere temporarily due to a fear of violence within the home or by a former partner, Universal Credit may provide help towards both rents.

You must provide evidence of this from the police (crime reference number) or a signed statement from the local council or other organisation supporting you. If allowed, this help towards rent can be paid for up to 12 assessment periods (12 months).

Large families

If the local council need to use two properties to house the members of the benefit unit, help towards both rents may be paid. Evidence must be provided - for example, a letter from the local council.