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Thread: Benefits & Living In Airbnbs

  1. #1

    Benefits & Living In Airbnbs

    Is this allowed?

    Can you claim housing benefit living in airbnbs if costs are lower than the rental or mortgage market?

    I heard you can claim housing benefit if your residence is a boat home or caravan why not airbnb?

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Jun 2014
    West Cumbria (Lake District)
    You can't claim Housing Benefit unless you have SDP in another benefit, (or certain other special circumstances) you would have to claim UC Housing Element instead.

    Yes you can claim HB/UC-HE in any rented accommodation.

    Councils with housing shortages often put up people in 'temporary/emergency accommodation', and pay the cost as HB.

    However there are a problems you would face, and not just from the DWP or council:
    • You would be subject to the relevant LHA rate for the area, and the DWP/council would insist on seeing you rental agreement.
    • LHA rate is unlikely to cover the rent for an Airbnb.
    • The DWP/council will want to see a written 'Tenancy Agreement', or a letter from the Landlord saying that you have a verbal tenancy agreement, or a Lodger agreement/written letter;
      whilst a TA/lodger agreement as such is not strictly necessary you will have real problems claiming rental costs benefits without one.
    • One reason people rent their properties as Airbnb is to avoid any TA and tenants rights. (and Lodgers rights few as they are).
    • Without a TA (written or verbal) you have very few rights and can be chucked out with no (or very little for a lodger) notice.
    • Many private landlords do not want benefit claimants as tenants, Airbnb landlords in particular.
    • As soon as you asked an Airbnb landlord/agent for confirmation that you were paying rent there to show the DWP/council you would be out on your ear.
    • Having someone claiming benefits for living in what is supposed to be holiday accommodation will cause all kinds of licencing and tax issues for the property owner.
    Last edited by nukecad; 23-05-20 at 20:44.
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