EU citizens entitlement to Housing Benefit

EU citizens entitlement to Housing Benefit

9:47 AM, 15th September 2014, About 10 years ago 10

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One of my properties in a dodgy area has now got what the letting agents tell me is a excellent tenant, a Polish single mum in her twenties, who is looking after the property very well. She has just had her Housing Benefit stopped because of changes in entitlement of EU citizens. She has lived in the UK since she was 16 old as she came here with her mum, who has now returned to Poland. I am reasonably relaxed about the situation for now, as having someone living there is good news for the security of the property, which was the subject of a boiler, copper pipe and wiring theft and has now been nicely repaired and redecorated. I am told that she is keen to stay and will get a job to pay the rent and re-establish entitlement to benefits if she has to. The agent is of the view that she will be a hard worker who will do anything to make a living, unlike many of her British neighbours 😀 EU citizens entitlement to Housing Benefit

My question is, can anyone advise me of the likely outcome of her appeal (loads of rallying-round by her support worker Jobcentre staff to help with this, apparently). We are under the impression that the restriction on Housing Benefit being paid to EU citizens should not apply to someone who has been here that long and has a child (presumably born in the UK).

And yes, I too wonder why the caring professions are so keen to help someone from elsewhere claim taxpayers’ money far more than they would a native Brit, but that is a discussion for another time and place!


Jerry Jones

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15:03 PM, 15th September 2014, About 10 years ago

Hi Jerry,
As your tenant is from Poland, she is classed as an A8 national, the link below may help you understand the law changes in more detail, im sure Mark will remove the link if he feels its not appropriate to post 🙂 but this is publiclly accessable


Hope this helps

Yvonne B.

15:52 PM, 15th September 2014, About 10 years ago

EEA nationals need to prove that they now have permanent residency, they must have lived here for 5 years and either claimed housing benefit as a jobseeker, or been working for the whole of the 5 years.

You need to check how long your tenant has been in the UK and if there are any gaps in her work/claims in the last 5 years - Once they can prove this 5 years they can get all benefits just like a UK person.

If she cannot prove permanent residency then she will be treated just the same as any other EU citizen. Which means she can only get jobseekers & HB for a limited time, then it will all stop and she needs to return to Poland or get a job. Following work then she can reapply for benefits for another short term.

Until an EU person has lived & worked or claimed for 5 years continuous then they have no automatic right to benefit.


Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

16:59 PM, 15th September 2014, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Yvonne B." at "15/09/2014 - 15:52":

This actually makes sense - unusual in a benefits scenario where common sense is not common practice 😀

Romain Garcin

19:29 PM, 15th September 2014, About 10 years ago

I'd like to see that tested in court because I think that there is a real chance that telling EU citizens to wait for 5 years is illegal under EU law.

Yvonne B.

21:42 PM, 15th September 2014, About 10 years ago

They don't have to wait for 5 years.

New arrivals wait 3 months without benefits then can only claim JSA for 6 months, no HB allowed.
Once they have had a job and lose it involuntarily they will get JSA & HB for 6 months, longer if they can prove a genuine chance of gaining employment.

Once they have lived here for 5 years without break (not incl holidays) they can prove permanent residency and not be subject to these controls.

This is a simplistic overview and there's other ways of proving residency, family ties in UK being one, search the internet or visit Citizens Advice Bureau for full details. CAB are great for helping EU tenants through this minefield.


Romain Garcin

22:13 PM, 15th September 2014, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Yvonne B." at "15/09/2014 - 21:42":

I had misunderstood, then. Thanks for clarifying, Yvonne.

Charline Caisse

10:10 AM, 17th September 2014, About 10 years ago

I would also love to see how would a court end such a problem.
I agree with Romain. I do think that a legal contradiction would be present tho.
As an professional inventory clerk I know how tricky a tenant-landlord situation can be.
Figers crossed


19:11 PM, 17th September 2014, About 10 years ago

Found out a bit more. The tenant is just 19 years old. Child was born in UK but I don't know the (absent) father's nationality. Sounds like all concerned are tiptoeing around this and meanwhile 8 weeks for them to review it before she can lodge an appeal.

Yvonne B.

15:28 PM, 18th September 2014, About 10 years ago

It would depend on your tenant's mum & dad, was she at school here, when did she arrive in uk? Has she been here more than 5 years?
Doesn't matter about her child - it is the tenant who is claiming so all depends on her proving permanent residency.

Warning to others - EU citizens who have been here for years and claiming HB will be subject to these new rules as soon as there is a break in their claim - so make sure they are aware of this as you will probably lose the HB if their benefits are stopped for any reason - they will then not be restarted as they will come under the new rules.
Also, EU workers who lose their job MUST claim JSA & HB straight away - any delay will result in them NOT being able to claim. You have to be a worker or a jobseeker - if you do neither you lose your status and then cannot claim anything! Please warn your tenants.

This is probably why this tenant has lost her HB, break in her claim from her last tenancy. She now has to prove residency.


Robert M

20:52 PM, 21st September 2014, About 10 years ago

I have a Romanian resident in a similar situation, he was getting JSA and HB, but his JSA was sanctioned as he missed an appointment and even though his JSA has been re-instated, now he is not entitled to HB and has no means of paying his rent. Shelter is assisting him to appeal this, but the LA is so far still denying him any HB.

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