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Housing benefit, council tax reduction
 See also
How to apply for housing benefit
Reporting a change in circumstances

Sale and rent back

If you sell your home through a sale and rent back agreement and wish to claim housing benefit, a decision about your claim will be based on your individual reasons for selling.

If you already receive council tax benefit and decide to sell your home through a sale or rent back agreement, you will need to let us know.

Find out how to report a change in circumstances 

What is sale and rent back

This is when you sell your home and rent it back from the new owner.

Before entering into a sale and rent back agreement, we would advise that you get independent advice from the Community Legal Advice Centre (CLAC).

Will I be entitled to housing benefit

You may be entitled to housing benefit if either -

  • you can prove that you could not have stayed in your home without selling it

  • five years have passed since you sold your home

You will not be entitled to housing benefit if -

  • you rent the home you once owned as a freeholder or leaseholder (the former owner rule), unless you can satisfy us that you could not have stayed in your home without selling it or five years have passed since you sold your home.

Find out how to apply for housing benefit

How can I prove I had to sell my home

You do not need to show that keeping your home was completely impossible but you do need to show that it was so difficult that you were forced to sell. Proof of this may include -

  • letters from your mortgage lender about action they would take to collect any debts

  • proof of your income and outgoings at the time you decided to sell

  • evidence of other factors involved in your decision to sell

You can speed up the decision making process by providing all your proofs as early as possible.

More information about providing proofs to support a claim

How we decide if you qualify for housing benefit

We will look at the reasons you decided to sell you home and whether you could have stayed in your home without selling it. We will consider if you -

  • could have claimed benefits such as income support, jobseekers allowance, employment and support allowance and state pension credit to help with your home ownership costs

  • had debts that were secured on your home and whether these debts were likely to lead to your mortgage lender taking back your home

  • had other assets you could have sold

We may also refuse your housing benefit claim if you sold your home to -

  • repay unsecured loans, such as for credit cards or hire-purchase agreements

  • reduce your monthly outgoings so that you could follow an interest such as being a student or setting up a new business

  • claim housing benefit

Will the value of my house affect my claim

When you apply for housing benefit we look at your savings. Depending on the amount of savings you have, you may not be entitled to housing benefit or the amount you receive may be reduced.

Savings include money and assets, premium bonds, National Savings certificates, stocks and shares, and property.

If you sell your house, we will decide if the value of your house should be considered as savings based on -

  • your knowledge of the benefit rules

  • why and when you sold

  • why and when you claimed housing benefit

  • whether it was reasonable for you to sell your home

Please note this information is only a guide and does not cover every circumstance. We recommend that you get independent advice before making any financial decisions based on this information.

If you have any questions or need more information please contact the Community Legal Advice Centre (CLAC) on 01482 317 420.

Visit the Community Legal Advice Centre (CLAC) website (link opens in a new window)

Find out how to apply for housing benefit

Contact us

Freepost RSJC-KKBE-ABXZ
Hull City Council Revenues and Benefits Service
PO Box 15
Hull
HU1 2AB

Tel: 01482 300 300
Text phone: 01482 300 349
Email: benefitssr@hullcc.gov.uk

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