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Housing benefit while sharing with relatives

(9 Posts)
fb1978 Sat 29-Nov-14 13:10:39


My DH, I and two DCs would like to rent a house with my sister who is a full time student and single parent to 1 DC. Currently she is in receipt of a bursary withno other benefits except for housing benefit. Our reasons for wanting to share a rental property are for mutual support as my DH works away.
I'm trying to find out if she will still get some financial assistance towards a shared rent but have a horrible feeling we would need to cover it all ourselves, which seems unfair.
Information on this seems thin on the ground - can anyone help please?

HelloitsmeFell Sat 29-Nov-14 13:14:22

marking place as I am a LL and am interested in the answer to this. Can't offer any cast iron answer though, so I won't tell you what I think in case I am wrong.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 29-Nov-14 13:17:56

Sharing a property rather than financing one each means it costs less all round... rent, bills, maintenance etc. So you can't realistically expect the same level of subsidy. If she's a student, she should talk to the welfare people at her place of education and explain what you want to do. The rules for students are slightly different to other people. You could plug the details into the benefits checker at and see what the difference would be.

fb1978 Sat 29-Nov-14 17:30:23

Thanks cogito.

The benefits calculator doesn't take into account her student status or associated bursary. I shall point her in the direction of welfare at uni.
It seems odd there isn't much financial incentive from the government to share accommodation.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 29-Nov-14 19:14:37

The financial incentive is the cost saving. You say yourself that there will be advantages like providing childcare for each other. You'll share meals, bills, transport etc. No real need for government to get involved in your life is there?

Brittapieandchips Sat 29-Nov-14 19:21:16

Pretty sure it's the same as any shared house, so you would each get up to the amount in your area for your 'household' (so you, your partner and your DC are one household, your sister and her DC are another) unless of course that is more than the rent you are liable for.

Family are only a special case if you are paying rent TO them. You can only claim HB if you are legally required to pay rent, so you have to be a 'proper' tenant who would get evicted if you didn't pay.

As long as you are all on the tenancy, rather than subletting you should be fine.

Speak to CAB or Welfare Benefits Advice though, to check.

Brittapieandchips Sat 29-Nov-14 19:27:04

For example, I am eligible for the 2 bedroom rate (one adult, two children under ten) of £110 in my area. So I can get up to that amount, if rent is less I get less if it is more I have to top it up. If I got together with, say, a couple with two kids, also entitled to the two bed rate, we could potentially rent a four bed for up to £220, as long as we are proper tenants.

thornrose Sat 29-Nov-14 19:29:49

I shared a rented house with my mum for a while, I'm a single parent. We were joint tenants and both on the tenancy agreement. I was still eligible for HB and Council tax benefit based on my own earnings for my half of the rent.

If my mum had owned the house I wouldn't be able to claim HB to pay her rent.

I imagine that it will be the same with a sibling.

fb1978 Sat 29-Nov-14 20:49:38

Excellent, there seems to be hope. Thanks all and encouraging to hear personal experiences smile

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