Housing benefit before you move in

You may need to start paying rent on a new home before you can move in. You may be able to get housing benefit to help cover your rent.

Can I get housing benefit before I move in?

If you need to start paying rent on a new home before you move in, you may be able to get housing benefit for up to four weeks, provided that:

  • you're not receiving housing benefit at the moment (in this case, you may be able to apply for housing benefit for two homes), AND
  • you claim before you move in, AND
  • you can't move in because you:
    • are waiting for a disability adaptation to be made to your new home and you can't live there until the work's been done, OR
    • are in hospital or residential accomodation and need to start paying rent while you're there, OR
    • you are waiting for a social fund payment connected to your move and you have a child under five, or you are aged 60 or over, or you qualify for a disability, severe disability, pensioner or disabled child premium, AND
  • the delay is reasonable.

If this applies to you, you should make a housing benefit claim as soon as possible.

Examples of when you can get housing benefit before you move in

You should be able to get housing benefit for up to four weeks before you move in if:

  • you are leaving residential care and moving into a bungalow, but can't move in until the bathroom has been adapted so you can use it
  • you are a young parent with a baby and you're moving out of your parents' home and into your own place, but you are waiting to get the money from a community care grant so you can buy some furniture as your new flat is unfurnished.

These are just examples of when you can get housing benefit before you move in. If you need to pay for a new home before you move in speak to an adviser to see if you can claim housing benefit to help cover your rent.

Speak to a Shelter Scotland adviser

Call Shelter Scotland's free housing advice helpline

0808 800 4444
9am-5pm, Monday to Friday

Email an adviser

You can also email a housing adviser. We aim to respond within three working days.

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