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Finding a home

Aged under 35

If you are under the age of 35 and looking for a home you need to be aware of the regulations in place restricting payment of housing benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit.

  • Renting in the private sector

If you are a single private renter under the age of 35, you are usually only entitled to housing benefit at the shared accommodation rate. The maximum housing benefit you can get is the rate for renting a single room in a shared house. This applies even if you rent a self-contained flat.

The housing benefit you can get for living in a shared home is usually less than for a self-contained home.


The shared accommodation rate doesn't apply regardless of your age if you live in self-contained accommodation and you:

  • have a child who lives with you
  • live with your partner as a couple
  • live with an adult non-dependent
  • are a foster carer

The shared accommodation rate won't apply until you are 22 if you are a care leaver.

The shared accommodation rate should not apply if you are 25 or over and can show that you:

  • lived in homeless hostels for at least three months and accepted rehabilitation or support services before moving to the private rented sector
  • are a former prisoner and are managed under the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA)

If you are disabled you can claim the 1-bed rate of local housing allowance if you are in self-contained accommodation and get any of the following benefits:

  • daily living component of personal independence payment (PIP)
  • attendance allowance
  • middle or high rate care component of disability living allowance (DLA)
  • armed forces independence payment

If your housing benefit (or the housing element of universal credit) does not cover all your rent you will need to make up any shortfall using other income. You may be able to get help by claiming discretionary housing payments. Visit Herefordshire Council’s website for information.

Affordable rented housing

If you are under the age of 35 and rent a property from a housing association your housing benefit entitlement is not limited to the shared accommodation rate.

However, you may get less housing benefit if you are a housing association tenant and you have more bedrooms than allowed under the benefit rules.

This reduction in benefit payment does not normally apply if you are living in supported accommodation.

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