Conditions for housing benefit
Applicants, and the members of their households, must meet certain conditions in order to qualify for housing benefit payments. You can check whether you qualify for housing benefit by using the housing benefit calculator.
Conditions for housing benefit
Under the Housing Benefit Act, No. 75/2016, the aim of the act is to reduce lower-income tenants’ housing costs in connection with the rental of residential premises.
Exemptions from the conditions regarding residence:
Notwithstanding the condition regarding residence, individuals may qualify for housing benefit even if their registered domicile is elsewhere in Iceland if they are temporarily resident in the premises in connection with:
- studies – providing the applicant submits confirmation of attendance of an educational institution;
- illness or the use of health services – providing the applicant submits a medical certificate in confirmation of this;
- residence in a half-way house – providing the applicant submits confirmation from the half-way house of his or her temporary residence there;
- temporary employment far from the applicant’s domicile – providing he or she submits an employment contract confirming this.
- All those who are resident, and consequently domiciled, in the rented premises, shall be registered as household members on the application; this includes any children of the applicant who are aged under the age of 18, as the number of household members may raise the benefit entitlement and the income/asset thresholds.
- Parents who have their children living with them for a minimum of 30 days per year may register them as household members even though they are domiciled with the other parent.
Exemptions from the conditions regarding facilities in the premises:
Notwithstanding the conditions regarding residential premises, housing benefit may be paid in the case of:
- Communal pupils’ facilities in boarding schools or students’ residences.
- Communal housing solutions for disabled persons.
- Premises shared by persons in half-way houses.
Exemptions from the condition regarding registration of the lease:
Even if no registered lease is available, housing benefit may be paid in the following circumstances:
- The rental of residential premises owned by the state or a municipality (local authority).
- The rental by pupils of a room or apartment in a school boarding hostel or by students in a student residence.
- The temporary use of premises by the holder of residence rights under a sale in execution for his or her private use for up to twelve months.
- Communal residence by individuals in half-way houses.
In all cases, however, a written lease must be available, even if it has not been registered.
Only those who rent premises in a half-way house shall be required to submit a copy of the written lease with their applications.
The Housing and Construction Authority gathers information on other leases electronically, and consequently it is not necessary to submit written copies of them with applications.
Authorisation is granted at the beginning of the application process. Information gathered may include details of income and assets from the Directorate of Internal Revenue, information on domicile from the National Registry and details of leases from district commissioners and municipal authorities.
Housing benefit shall not be paid:
- If the applicant or other household members are simultaneously registered as being resident in other residential premises in another housing benefit application that has been approved. Children under the age of 18 may, however, be counted as a member of the households of both parents or guardians.
- If the premises rented are intended for purposes other than residence, e.g. commercial premises, even though they are let out for residential purposes.
- Where parts of an apartment, or individual rooms, are rented. It shall, however, be permitted to pay housing benefit when individual rooms are rented in the case of:
- If any member of the household is entitled to interest benefit, then housing benefit shall not be paid.
- If any member of the household is the owner of the rental premises or owns a controlling share, either singly or together with close family members, in a company which owns the apartment in question.
- When housing benefit is already being paid in respect of the same residential premises.
Applying for housing benefit
If you consider that you meet the above conditions for housing benefit, you can submit an application. You can do this by logging in to “My pages”. Clickhereto apply for housing benefit.
Applicants who complete and send in their applications via “My pages” will receive confirmation of receipt by e-mail. If further information is needed, they will be contacted via “My pages” and the e-mail addresses they give in their applications.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to read, and if necessary respond to, messages sent electronically by the Housing and Construction Authority. Please note that failure to do this by the stated deadline may result in the rejection of your application.
All household members aged 18 and over must then register through “My pages” and give authorisation so that the Housing and Construction Authority can obtain the information it needs to process the housing benefit application.
Forms for applying on paper can be found here. We nevertheless strongly recommend applying online if at all possible. If you apply on paper, you only need to fill out and submit these forms (your application and the authorisations from household members). The Housing and Construction Authority will obtain registered leases electronically. The only exception to this is that residents of half-way houses must submit copies of leases with their applications.
If further information is needed, applicants will be contacted by letters sent to their domicile addresses; they may also access such letters through “My pages”. It is the responsibility of the applicant to read, and if n
When all materials requested, and authorisations, have been received, your application will be examined. Applications are examined in the order in which they are received. Your housing benefit entitlement will be assessed. If there is no need to call for more information from you or the members of your household, then your application will be processed. Housing benefit payments will start on the first day of the calendar month following approval of your application.
Please note that housing benefit applications may be rejected if the necessary information and materials have not been received 45 days after receipt of the application.