Housing benefit – changes in your circumstances
If you are a tenant
If you are a landlord
Examples of changes you need to tell us about
Changes we need to know about include:
your rent changes (see when to report changes to your rent)
your income support, jobseeker's allowance, employment support allowance or guarantee credit stops
you start work
your earnings increase
someone comes to live with you or leaves
you change your address
your savings or capital increase.
Certain changes in your circumstances may mean you will be better off claiming universal credit. To find out more about universal credit and why it might be a better option for you please visit the government’s universal credit website.
Universal credit is being introduced in different areas at different times. To find out if you can apply for universal credit, check if your postcode is in the universal credit full-service area.
You will need to inform us if you make a universal credit claim as you will no longer be eligible for housing benefit. This is because any housing cost entitlement will be met through your universal credit.
How we check your claim
Fraud and error cause customers to lose out on benefit, create overpayments and contribute to financial hardship.
To stop this, we periodically check that our customers are getting the right amount of benefit. We review customers’ claims throughout the year, to identify unreported changes in circumstances.
What areas we look at
We can review all aspects of your claim or look at only one area (for example, earned income).
What you need to do
When we review your claim, we will write to you asking you to provide information and evidence.
Please provide photocopies and not original documents, unless otherwise specified.
Alternatively you can post evidence to us.
What information we ask for
We may ask you to provide information on your earnings, tax credits, capital and investments. If you live with other people, we may ask you to provide evidence of their income.
Cross-checking information with the Department for Work and Pensions
We can check some income types without contacting you, by cross-checking the information we hold against data held by the Department for Work and Pensions.
state retirement pension
employment support allowance.
How long you have to respond
When we review your claim, we will give you one calendar month to supply the evidence and information.
What happens if you don’t respond
If you do not do this, we will suspend your benefit payments for a further month. If you have still not responded, we will terminate your claim and you will have to reapply.