Universal Credit and Housing Benefit for two homes

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.

Check if you're entitled to benefits

Use the Turn2us benefit calculator

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

Services that can help with budgeting, applying for benefits, and debt:

If you get Universal Credit

You can only get the housing cost part of Universal Credit for two homes if one of the following apply:

Waiting for adaptations

You can get payment on two homes, for up to one month if the move is delayed because you are waiting on disability adaptations. Your household must also be getting one of these benefits:

  • Daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

  • Middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

  • Attendance Allowance

  • Constant Attendance Allowance (paid as part of Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit or War Disablement Benefit)

Leaving home because of fear of violence

If you have left your home because of fear of violence either in your home or from a former partner, you can get Universal Credit for your old home and the home you are staying in now, for up to one year, so long as you intend to return to your old home.

You could be afraid of violence from someone who lived in your old home, or a former family member. It also includes fear of violence from your neighbours, or fear of racial attacks on your home.

Your family is too big for one home

If the council has placed your family in two homes because they could not provide you with a home big enough for your whole family, you can get Universal Credit for both homes for as long as it is necessary for you to live in two homes.

Applying for Universal Credit for two homes

Payments for two homes are not given automatically, so you will have to login to your online account to request this.

You will need to provide:

  • the address of your old tenancy and the date that tenancy ends

  • the address of your new tenancy and the date that tenancy starts

  • your reasons for moving and why two homes payment should be made

If you get Housing Benefit

You can only get the Housing Benefit for two homes if one of the following apply:

Waiting for adaptations

If you can't move into your new home until adaptations have been carried out because you, or someone you live with, is disabled, you can have Housing Benefit paid on both homes for up to four weeks.

Leaving home because of fear of violence

If you have left your home because of fear of violence, either in your home or from a former partner, you can get Housing Benefit for your old home and the home you are staying in now, for up to one year, so long as you intend to return to your old home.

You could be afraid of violence from someone who lived in your old home, or a former family member. It also includes fear of violence from your neighbours, or fear of racial attacks on your home.

If you don't intend to return, you can get Housing Benefit paid for both homes for up to four weeks.

Your family is too big for one home

If the council has placed your family in two homes because they could not provide you with a home big enough for your whole family, you can get Housing Benefit for both homes for as long as it is necessary for you to live in two homes.

Unavoidable overlap

You may be able to get help with rent at your old home and your new home for up to 4 weeks if there's an 'unavoidable overlap' with your tenancies when you move.

You must have moved into your new home to get help with rent there.

This might apply for example, if you had to accept and move in to a council home quickly but also had to give notice on your private tenancy.

Applying for Housing Benefit for two homes

Payments for two homes are not given automatically. You will have to write to your Housing Benefit department and ask

Find your local council.

If you are writing a letter remember to include:

  • the address of your old tenancy and the date that your tenancy ends

  • the address of your new tenancy and the date that your tenancy starts

  • your reasons for moving and why it was not possible to avoid an overlap.

Download a letter requesting Housing Benefit for two homes.

You can find advice on paying for your home while you are away on our page on temporary absence rules for benefits.

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.

Get advice if you're in England