Help to pay rent before I move in?

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

If you need to start paying rent on a new home before you move in, you may be able to get housing costs under Universal Credit or Housing Benefit for up to one month (or four weeks for Housing Benefit), provided that:

  • you're not already receiving Housing Benefit or housing costs from Universal Credit at the moment (in this case, you may be able to apply for help to pay rent 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 accommodation and need to start paying rent while you're there OR

    • (only for Housing Benefit claims) 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 claim as soon as possible.

Examples of when you can get help with your rent before you move in

You should be able to get help with your rent for up to one month (or 4 weeks for Housing Benefit) 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.

If you need to talk to someone, we’ll do our best to help. Get Help

Last updated: 24 January 2021

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

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