Help to pay rent
If you rent your home and have a low income, or get welfare benefits, you may be entitled to help to pay your rent. This section explains all about Universal Credit, Housing Benefit and Local Housing Allowance, as well as some other benefits.
Check if you're entitled to benefits
You’ll need information on your household’s:
income and savings
outgoings, such as rent
existing benefits and pensions
council tax bill
Get help managing your money
Find out if you could be entitled to claim Universal Credit for help to pay your rent and how to apply.
Housing Benefit is gradually being phased out and replaced by Universal Credit. Only some people can still make a new claim for Housing Benefit. This page provides information about who may still be eligible and how to apply.
A Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) is money you can get from the council if your benefits do not cover your full rent.
If your circumstances change, it may affect how much benefit you can get. This page explains what changes you need to report and how to report them.
If you have a spare bedroom and you're renting from the council or a housing association and getting housing costs through Universal Credit or are getting Housing Benefit, then the amount of benefit you receive may be reduced. This is commonly known as 'the bedroom tax'.
The benefit cap will affect families and single parents across Scotland from July 2013. Find out more about how the benefit cap will affect you.
Most full-time students are not entitled to any help towards their rent from either Universal Credit or Housing Benefit, however there are some exceptions.
If you receive a letter or an explanation from the Housing Benefit department that you disagree with, there are things you can do to get your benefits decision looked at again.
How to work out what your housing benefit decision letter means. What to do if you disagree with it or want to know how the council decided what benefit you will receive.
If you rent from a private landlord and you are on a low income you might be entitled to help towards paying your rent through Universal Credit or Housing Benefit. Find out how the amount you can get is calculated and information about Local Housing Allowance (LHA).
If you rent from the council or a housing association and you are on a low income you might be entitled to help towards paying your rent through Universal Credit or Housing Benefit. Find out how the amount you can get is calculated.
What to expect while you are waiting for a Housing Benefit benefit decision. And what to do if you haven't heard anything from your council about your Housing Benefit claim.
You can get your benefits like Universal Credit, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction backdated if you can show good cause. There are limits to how far back you can get benefits backdated.
If you're single, under 35, with no dependents and you rent from a private landlord and claim Universal Credit or Housing Benefit, the amount you get is based on the cost of a single room in shared accommodation. This is called the 'shared accommodation rate'.
You may need to start paying rent on a new home before you move in. You may be able to claim housing benefit to cover your rent before you move in.
Normally you can only get Universal Credit or Housing Benefit for one home at a time. However there are special circumstances where it may be possible to have your benefit paid for more than one home. Find out what these circumstances are and how to apply.
You might get Universal Credit or Housing Benefit if you are away from home, but only under certain conditions. Check if you're eligible and how long you might be able to claim for.
You may be able to get housing benefit for up to four weeks after you move. Housing benefit usually stops the day you move out of your home but there are exceptions.
You may not be able to claim Housing Benefit or Universal Credit housing costs if you pay rent to a family member or partner.
Find out how to make claiming housing benefit go as smoothly as possible. What forms you need to claim and more.
Last updated: 5 January 2021