A non-dependent is a person aged 18 or over who is living with the tenant but who is not dependent upon them and not living in the property on a commercial basis (i.e. as a joint tenant or sub-letting). Non-dependents include a grown-up son or daughter, mother, father, auntie, uncle, friend etc. A deduction can only be made if that person is normally residing in the tenant’s home. If they have a home elsewhere, or are only staying temporarily, then no non-dependent deduction should be made.
These people are assumed to be giving the tenant something towards their rent, regardless of whether or not they are actually doing so. This assumed contribution is based upon the non-dependent’s circumstances.
The appropriate deduction is taken off the eligible rent before housing benefit is assessed, and it is the tenant who is responsible for making up the shortfall. In exceptional circumstances, the tenant may be able to claim a Discretionary Housing Payment to help them pay for the shortfall.
Non-dependents are not able to claim housing benefit.