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Financial Help with Moving House

Adele MacGregor

Written by

24th May 2022 (Last updated on 8th Jun 2022) 6 minute read

Moving house is often an exciting time, but it can come with its challenges. Help when moving, be it logistical, organisation or cost, can be a huge benefit. Whether you are claiming benefits, disabled or elderly, help is available.

Being organised before moving house is essential regardless of your personal circumstances. It is even more vital if there are other elements involved. Preparation is key, especially if there are likely to be complications. Make sure you fully understand the requirements if you are claiming benefits. Having the correct paperwork and knowledge to hand will be invaluable during a move.

This article will cover the following:
  1. Moving Home on Benefits
  2. Moving House if You Have a Disability
  3. Moving as Current or Former Servicemen and Women
  4. Help with Moving Costs
  5. Helpful Tips for Moving

Moving Home on Benefits

If you claim or are entitled to benefits, there may be financial help available to you. For those who are renting and on a low income or claim benefits, you may be able to get Housing Benefit to help pay for rent.

If you own your own home, check if you can get help with paying the interest on your mortgage. Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) can provide help towards your mortgage. It can also help if you have taken out a loan for repairs and improvements to your home. If you qualify, the DWP will pay any agreed amounts to your mortgage lender.

You must tell the local council and DWP about changes in your circumstances. This includes moving house. If you move to live in a different council area, your Housing Benefit claim will end. You will then need to make a new Housing Benefit claim or claim Universal Credit in its place.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit has come to replace the majority of benefits received by citizens in the UK.

If you claim Universal Credit, there may be other benefits you are entitled to. You may also be able to apply for a council tax reduction. Although this may not help during the move, it can help following the house move and going forward in your new home.

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Moving House if You Have a Disability

If you have a disability, you may be entitled to both financial help and assistance when moving house.

You may even need to find an accessible home, which is where organisations like Habinteg can help.

You may be able to apply for a Disabled Relocation Grant, awarded by the local authority. This is available if it is not possible to make your current home safe and accessible. The grants are assessed by an occupational therapist or community care worker.

Moving as Current or Former Servicemen and Women

If you currently serve or have served in the armed forces, you may be entitled to help with your house move. The Army works with those in Service when it comes to relocation for Service reasons. The British Army website provides full details on relocation and leaving the service.

For Veterans, the Armed Forces Charity SSAFA lists help available, including housing. Citizen Advice and Shelter also offer housing advice to Veterans.

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Help with Moving Costs

If you are struggling with the costs of moving house, there is help available and a few options for you to consider. You will need to be eligible to apply for government help, but Citizen Advice may be able to help if you do not qualify.

Below are a few options to consider:

1. Short-Term Benefit Advances (STBA)

If you are receiving a means-tested benefit, you could apply for a benefit advance. If you’ve applied for Universal Credit but are yet to have the first payment, you can apply for an early payout.

Be aware that repayments will be taken from later benefits. As a result, this option must be carefully considered.

2. Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)

This may be available if you already qualify for Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. DHP can be awarded to those who need help with housing expenses, including moving costs.

3. Charities and Benevolent Funds

There are a number of charities and benevolent funds in the UK that may be able to offer monetary help. That said, keep in mind some of these are designed to offer aid to specific people. Again, Citizens Advice may be able to assist you in finding an organisation that can help you.

4. Local Authorities

If you’re struggling to find the money for upfront rent or a deposit, it is worth contacting your local council. There are many boroughs that offer a bond deposit initiative. This is an agreement between the council and your landlord. It covers any deposit deductions due to damage or nonpayment of rent.

5. Local Welfare Assistance

The Local Assistance Scheme is for councils to spend as they see fit. Some local authorities will use the money to help residents with the cost of moving.

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Helpful Tips for Moving

It’s not just financial aid that can help with your house move. Knowing the tips and tricks of moving house can be essential for a successful move. It also helps you settle in and saves you any unnecessary stress further down the line.

1. Staying Organised

Organisation is key to keeping down stress levels during a house move. The more organised you are ahead of time, the more prepared you will be when moving day arrives.

With this in mind, we recommend that movers start packing as soon as possible. That said, be sure to keep all necessary items and paperwork to hand at all times. This is especially the case if you are applying for particular grants or benefits.

2. Choosing the Right Moving Date

According to our unique user data, the most popular day to move house in a large majority of the UK is a Friday. Saturday is also a favoured day to book a removal company. As a result, these days can potentially come with a premium price, due to their popularity.

In contrast, Sunday is the least popular day to move house across the country, meaning it can be a cheaper day to move.

Ultimately, you need to pick the right day of the week and date that suits you. Whether this is when your rental agreement comes to an end or after the completion date when buying a home.

3. Finding a Good Removal Company

Finding a good removal company can be essential for a successful moving day. A great way to do this is by comparing quotes for removal companies. This allows you to compare prices and offerings, ensuring you get the best deal.

By hiring experts to handle the move, you can focus on other areas of the move and on settling into your new home.

4. Declutter before you start packing

Not only can this reduce stress on moving day, it can also save you money. The fewer things you’re moving, the smaller the move. This means you won’t be paying to transport unwanted items.

Decluttering can also give you a fresh start in your new home - not to mention some money if you are able to sell items.

For more information read: How to Declutter for a House Move

5. Pack like a Pro

Effective packing ensures your items are safe in transit. It also sets you up for seamlessly unpacking at your new home. If you are unable to do the packing yourself, many removal companies will offer a packing service for an extra cost.

To read more see: How to Pack for Moving House

6. Using Self-Storage

If you need to store items between moves, self-storage is a great option. This not only frees up space in your home, but it also allows you to stagger your move and take your time.

Self-storage can also be an asset when decluttering. Storing the items gives you time to decide what you want to take to your new home, and what to donate or sell.

Adele MacGregor

Having written for PerformanceIN, WalesOnline, Grazia Magazine and The Olive Press, Adele now writes advice articles for home movers, first-time buyers and house sellers alike.