What is Overlapping Housing Benefit?
Housing Benefit can normally only be paid on one property at a time, even if you are liable to pay the rent on more than one property.
If you have moved into a new home but still have to pay rent on your old property, because of the landlord’s notice period, you may receive Housing Benefit for both properties.
This is called overlapping Housing Benefit. It can be paid to cover a maximum four week period notice at the old property even if your dual liability exceeds that period.
Can I receive help towards rent on two addresses?
You may be able to if you:
- have moved home but you remain liable for rent at your old address; and your liability to pay rent on both addresses could not reasonably be avoided
- are waiting for your new home to be adapted for a member of your household who is disabled and it is unavoidable you are liable to pay rent at both homes.
Are there any exceptions?
Any notice period you must give on the old property must be genuine - you must have a legally enforceable liability to pay rent, which a court would recognise and enforce.
If the landlord of your old property re-lets the accommodation before any notice period ends we will not pay overlapping Housing Benefit after the date the property is re-let.
Each application will be considered individually. You will need to demonstrate that you have taken all reasonable steps to avoid taking on two liabilities at the same time. As such it is extremely unlikely that payment on two properties will be made where the same landlord owns both properties.