Benefit is usually only paid for the home in which you are currently living and paying rent. However, there are some circumstances where you may be able to get help for two homes:
Fear of Violence
Where you have left your former home and remain absent due to fear of violence occurring either in your home by another person or outside your home by a former member of your family, benefit may be paid for a maximum of 52 weeks. For benefit to be paid, you must intend to return to live in the property you left.
Students or Trainees
Couples who are living in separate rented accommodation may receive benefit for both properties. The Local Authority must consider that separate accommodation is unavoidable and it is reasonable to pay benefit on two homes. There is no time limit on this provision.
Overlapping benefit on two homes
Generally people plan their move in advance and will normally be able to avoid having to pay rent on two homes by giving their former landlord enough notice to end their tenancy.
However, where you have moved from one rented dwelling to another rented dwelling and you still have to pay rent for notice required on you former home, the Local Authority will only consider awarding benefit on both properties for a maximum of four weeks where both the following conditions are met:
- only for the period after you have moved into you new home
- only if your liability to pay rent on both homes could not reasonably have been avoided.
If you have a large family and the Local Authority has housed you in two separate dwellings, benefit may be paid on both properties.