Please note we can only provide advice or process applications for residents of Kensington and Chelsea. If you do not live in the borough please visit http://www.gov.uk/ for local information, or seek information from your local authority.
Housing Benefit is a means-tested welfare benefit intended to help claimants with their rent. The main legislation that governs it is the Social Security and Benefits Act 1992 and from that there are two regulations that help its operation, the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 for working age claimants and the Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for state pension credit) Regulations 2006 for those of pension age.
Council tenants receive Housing Benefit as a rebate, reducing the amount of rent the tenant has to pay. Private tenants receive their benefit directly as they are expected to manage their own finances. In some cases this isn't possible and an arrangement is set up so that the private landlord receives the benefit instead.
Housing Benefit is only available to those who are liable for paying the rent of the accommodation and have a permanent residency in the UK. If someone is unable to manage their own affairs, another person can submit a Housing Benefit claim on their behalf.