Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.
Rent Issues: Liable for rent


  • The general rule is that it is only a person who is liable to pay 'rent' (has a legal obligation or duty) who can claim HB. HB Reg 8 para 1(a).

  • This means that a lodger can claim Housing Benefit but a non-dependant can't.

  • There does not have to be a tenancy agreement in place for a liability to exist.

  • 'Rent' includes: license charges, permission to occupy charges, use and occupation charges and mense/violent profits - click here.

  • Some people can be treated as liable so able to claim HB - so they do not need to be on the tenancy agreement.

  • And other people who do have an obligation to pay rent, can be treated as not liable so are not entitled to HB.

  • Sometimes the HB Office may question whether a claimant has the mental capacity to enter into a contract.

NOTE: Many people are not able to make a new claim Housing Benefit and need to make a claim for Universal Credit instead - click here for more details.

Definition of Rent

How is 'rent' defined in HB regulations?

Treated as Liable

Who can be treated as liable to pay rent and therefore able to claim HB.

Treated as not Liable

Which claimants who are liable will be treated as not liable.

Mental Capacity

What about mental capacity?