Former house owners

If you sell your home and then rent it back, you are not entitled to Housing Benefit for five years from the date of sale. We call this the “former owner rule”.

But if you can prove that you had no choice but to sell your home to continue living in it, this may not apply.

Proof you had to sell your home

If you had to sell your home and are now renting it back, you must give us the reason(s) and provide evidence.

Proof could include:

  • letters from your mortgage lender about action they would take to collect debts
  • proof of your income and outgoings at the time you decided to sell
  • evidence of any legal action to repossess your home
  • evidence of other factors involved in your decision to sell

You do not need to prove that keeping your house was impossible, but you do need to show us that your situation forced you to sell.

If you sell your house when you had other reasonable choices, you are not entitled to Housing Benefit.

We will consider these factors when deciding whether you qualify for Housing Benefit:

  • other benefits you could have claimed to help with your costs
  • whether you secured debts on your home
  • whether these debts were likely to cause your mortgage lender to take back your home
  • other assets you could have sold

 Capital from the sale

Any capital from the sale of your home may be included in your assessment for Housing Benefit. 

 The information in this section is for general advice only. 

Contact your local Housing Benefit office if you have any queries.

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