Some local authorities and housing providers do not charge rent for 52 weeks a year.
If you rent from a council or housing provider that operates a policy of ‘rent free’ weeks then the following information explains what you need to do to work out the amount you should enter as your rent. This will depend on whether you are claiming Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.
You are not actually entitled to Housing Benefit during your rent free period, your income and any deductions that apply to your claim, for example non-dependant deductions, will be adjusted across the weeks you pay rent for when calculating how much you will receive outside of your rent free period.
Our Housing Benefit calculations assume people are liable to pay rent for 52 weeks in a year, as you have rent free weeks, please multiply your weekly rent amount by the number of weeks you actually pay rent for in a year, then divide that amount by 52. This gives the equivalent weekly rent you would pay if you were paying rent for 52 weeks in a year, please enter that amount as your rent.
The Housing Benefit result shown will be the correct annual amount but as you won't receive a payment for every week your weekly amount will be slightly higher than the amount shown.
When calculating help with rent in Universal Credit, your total rent for the year is added together and then divided by 12 to create 12 equal monthly rent amounts. This is because the Universal Credit award is paid monthly. As you have rent free weeks, please work out your total rent for the year, then divide that amount by 12 to get a monthly rent amount to enter as your rent.