Housing Benefit and Rate Relief for homeowners

Homeowners including pensioners and some students with a low income can apply for Housing Benefit and Rate Relief to help pay their rates. You could get help to pay all or some of your rates. Land & Property Services administers the rate relief scheme for homeowners.

Homeowners who can apply

To qualify for Housing Benefit and Rate Relief, you must meet all conditions below:

  • you are an owner-occupier
  • you didn’t buy your home through a  co-ownership or rental buy scheme
  • you’re eligible to claim benefits in the UK
  • you're under State Pension age and don’t have capital over £16,000
  • you already get a benefit that includes Severe Disability Premium
  • you don’t have capital over £50,000 if you’ve reached State Pension age
  • you don’t already receive Housing Benefit and Rate Relief from the Housing Executive (NIHE)
  • you don't already receive Universal Credit

Receiving Universal Credit

You can't claim Housing Benefit and Rate Relief to help pay your rates if you're eligible to claim or already receive Universal Credit.  You must apply for Rate Rebate if you want help paying your rates.

Homeowners who are students

When you’re a student owning and living in your home, you may be eligible for Housing Benefit and Rate Relief if you already receive certain benefits and have parental or caring responsibilities. To apply, you must be a homeowner and fit one of the categories listed:

  • you receive Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • you and your partner are full-time students with dependent children
  • you’re a lone parent responsible for a child or young person
  • you’re single and responsible for a foster child
  • you’re a part-time student
  • you’re under 21 and began a course  (A-level or  NVQ but not degree) or were enrolled  before the age of 19
  • you’re under 21 and began approved training or were enrolled before the age of 19
  • your partner is over State Pension age
  • you are registered disabled
  • you are absent from the course due to caring responsibilities or illness and the college approves your absence
  • you are treated as incapable of work or having a limited capability to work for 196 consecutive days or longer

University students in rented accommodation aren’t eligible for Housing Benefit Rate Relief. 

Homeowners already receiving other allowances

If you are entitled to other allowance schemes for rates, such as Disabled Person’s Allowance (DPA) or Lone Pensioner’s Allowance (LPA), LPS will consider this when assessing your application for Housing Benefit and Rate Relief. Housing Benefit and Rate Relief are means-tested and depend on your income.

Your income and household

To assess your application for Housing Benefit and Rate Relief, LPS needs information about your income and household circumstances. They’ll ask about:

  • you and your partner, if you have one
  • your children or anyone  living with you
  • anyone you share ownership of the property with, other than your partner
  • you and your partner’s income, including any benefits you already receive as wages,  grants, pensions (from your former employer), or any income you receive from  additional property or land you own
  • capital you and your partner have in stocks, shares, bank, building society  or savings accounts

Applying for Housing Benefit and Rate Relief

To apply for Housing Benefit and Rate Relief as a homeowner, you must complete an application form and send the form to Land & Property Services (LPS), along with supporting documents.

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