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‘Can I get help with my rent?’
> 'I rent from a private landlord, and want to know how my eligible rent is worked out'

icon-warning1.jpgThe information on this page applies to most, but not all, private sector tenancies. If, for example, you entered into your tenancy before 1990, or live in a hostel, or get bed and board, the information might not apply. If you think that there’s anything unusual about your tenancy you should seek further advice

 It doesn’t matter to the local authority what the landlord is actually charging as rent. Instead, your eligible rent is decided purely by how many bedrooms the law says you need, and the location of the property.

Basically, the following people or groups of people are entitled to a bedroom:

There’s some big exceptions to this, unfortunately, which I’ll come to in a moment.

icon-example1.jpgAhmed and Alisha have three children: Mohammed (15), Fatima (13) and Aziz (7). Because Mohammed and Fatima are not the same sex they get different rooms, and Aziz gets another. The family are therefore entitled to 4 bedrooms in total. Note that if the two older children were the same sex the family would only be entitled to three bedrooms.

The main exceptions…

These exceptions sometimes don’t apply, for example they might not apply to you if you are disabled, or were living in a hostel previously.

Once you know how many bedrooms you are entitled to (or you realise that you’re only entitled to the shared rate, you then check with your local authority what the eligible rent is for a property with that number of bedrooms in the postcode where it is. That figure is the maximum Housing Benefit you can get.