Rent, Housing Benefit and Universal Credit

Your rent is used towards repairs and on-going maintenance to your home. It is also used to repay any money Sanctuary borrowed to build or modernise your home.

The rent you pay changes in line with inflation each year. The full details are set out in your tenancy agreement.

  • Who will amend my Direct Debit for rent changes?
    We will advise your bank of any changes to your rent.
  • Who will amend my Standing Order if my rent changes?
    You will need to contact your bank to make any changes to a Standing Order
  • I receive Housing Benefit. What do I do about rent increases?
    Please send a copy of the rent increase letter you receive to your Local Authority Housing Benefit section. We will also let the Housing Benefit department know about any changes.
     

In the last two years there have been a number of changes to how housing benefit is awarded. These changes may have an impact on the amount of benefit you can claim and may mean you are no longer able to afford the property you want to rent.

Housing Benefit for 18-21 year olds

Since 1 April 2017, some 18 to 21 year olds claiming Universal Credit are no longer entitled to help with housing costs.

The change only applies in Universal Credit full service areas. The following 18 to 21 year olds are still able to get help with their housing costs:

  • those receiving Universal Credit housing costs prior to 1 April 2017 until they move off Universal Creditor cease to claim those housing costs
  • certain vulnerable residents
  • those unable to live with their parents
  • those claiming as a couple
  • those who are not subject to all work-related requirements for receiving Universal Credit
  • those who are in work, subject to minimum earnings
  • those who have recently left work, subject to minimum earnings (In this case the help is available for a limited period)

Young people on Housing Benefit are not affected unless they stop claiming Housing Benefit, then at a later date make a claim for housing support through Universal Credit.

More information can be found at: www.gov.uk/guidance/housing-costs-for-18-to-21-year-olds (this link will open in a new window).

If your home is considered too large for you, your Housing Benefit will be cut, but you will still need to pay the full rent for your home. To find out how the government calculates Housing Benefit based on the number of bedrooms in a home, please visit the GOV.UK website (this link will open in a new window).

In autumn 2016, the benefits cap was reduced. If you live in Greater London, the cap is now £23,000 for couples with/without children and £15,410 for single people without children. If you live elsewhere in the country, the cap is £20,000 and £13,400 respectively. For more information about the benefit cap changes, visit the GOV.UK website (this link will open in a new window). 

Universal Credit is a new single benefit for working-age people. It replaces means-tested benefits, such as:

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Tax credits
  • Housing Benefit

Universal Credit is being rolled out gradually across the country. To find out more about Universal Credit, please visit the GOV.UK website (this link will open in a new window).

  • Please visit the GOV.UK website (this link will open in a new window) or call their helpline on 0845 605 7064
  • Contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau (this link will open in a new window).