Housing benefit before moving in

You may need to start paying rent on a new home before you can actually move in. In some situations, you may be able to get Housing Benefit to cover the rent.

Waiting for help from the Discretionary Assistance Fund

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 already receiving Housing Benefit (in this case, you may be able to apply for Housing Benefit for two homes),
  • you make your claim before you move in,
  • you are waiting for a social fund payment (in Wales, the Discretionary Assistance Fund (DAF)) to help with your move,
  • you have a child under six, you or your partner have reached state pension credit age, or you claim certain benefits that include payments for a disabled family member, and
  • the delay in moving is reasonable.

So, for example, you should be able to get Housing Benefit for up to four weeks before you move in if 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 money from the DAF so you can buy some furniture, as your new flat is unfurnished.

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 for up to four weeks before you move in.

Any work to make the home suitable for the disabled person counts, including redecorating and carpeting.

So, for example, if you are leaving a care home and moving into a bungalow, but you can’t move in until the bathroom has been adapted, then you might be able to get Housing Benefit on the bungalow for four weeks whilst the adaptations are being done.

Waiting to leave hospital or a care home

If you are waiting to leave hospital or a care home and you need to start paying rent on your new home, you might be able to get Housing Benefit for a maximum of four weeks on your new home. Your delay in moving into your new home must be reasonable (for example, you are having to stay in hospital for longer than you expected).

Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline
0345 075 5005

Email an adviser

If you have a non-urgent problem and would like to speak to an advisor
email us

We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 0345 075 5005.

This page was last updated on: July 30, 2018

Shelter Cymru acknowledges the support of Shelter in allowing us to adapt their content. The information contained on this site is updated and maintained by Shelter Cymru and only gives general guidance on the law in Wales. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law.