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Information for Landlords

Information for Private Tenant Landlords whose tenants have applied for or are in receipt of Housing Benefit

Fees and Charges If your tenant is claiming Housing Benefit, please be aware of the following:-

We will only speak to a landlord about a tenant's claim for housing benefit if the tenant has given us written permission to do so.  Even where we have been given permission to speak about the tenant's claim, we will not discuss or divulge details of the tenant's finances.

-  If we are paying Housing Benefit direct to your tenant, we pay 2-weekly in arrears.
-  If we are paying direct to you, we pay 4-weekly in arrears by BACS (but see below 'Local Housing Allowance').
-  We pay by direct credit to a bank account.
-  If a tenant's Housing Benefit is less than the amount of the rent, it is for the tenant to pay the difference.

The payments dates for the 4-weekly payments are as follows:

Landlord payment dates

1 April 201929 April 201928 May 2019
 24 June 201922 July 201919 August 2019
16 September 201914 October 201911 November 2019
9 December 2019 6 January 20203 February 2020
2 March 202030 March 2020 


A tenant's contractual rent is not the basis of the Housing Benefit calculation.  Instead a LHA figure is used and is based on the number of bedrooms that the tenant's household needs.  For further information, go to Local Housing Allowance

Most tenants whose Housing Benefit is being assessed under the LHA rules have their benefit paid direct to them and NOT TO THEIR LANDLORD. Paying the Benefit direct to the tenant is a main principle of the Housing Benefit scheme, as it is the Government's aim that tenants be expected to deal with their own affairs. There can be exceptions to paying the tenant direct, And only USUALLY applies where the tenant is vulnerable and there is a need to safeguard the tenant from losing the tenancy if the rent is not paid.   This does not apply to Registered Social Landlords.

If Housing Benefit is paid directly to a tenant and it is demonstrated that he is in arrears by an amount equivalent to eight weeks or more, we will then usually pay the Housing Benefit direct to the landlord.  However, we can decide not to do so when that would be in the overriding interest of the tenant or where we are not satisfied that the landlord is a "fit and proper person".  A decision we make on who  to pay where there are rent arrears may be appealed by the tenant and the landlord.  Please contact our office for further advice on a particular case.

Some items are not eligible for Housing Benefit, for example, heating, lighting, meals and water rates.

Tenants claiming Housing Benefit must tell the Council about changes that may affect their entitlement. If we pay too much benefit because of changes to circumstances we don't know about, we will expect the overpayment to be paid back to us.

Where we are paying a tenant's Housing Benefit direct to a landlord, we expect the landlord to tell us about changes to tenants' circumstances that may affect Housing Benefit entitlement where it is something that the landlord could be expected to know about (for example, if the tenant leaves). We will look to the landlord to repay any overpaid benefit in these circumstances.

If a change results in an overpayment of Housing Benefit, but there is still an ongoing entitlement, we normally recover the overpayment by making a deduction from the ongoing Housing Benefit amount until we have recovered it all (regardless of whether we are paying the tenant or the landlord). This might mean that we are recovering an overpayment made during a previous tenancy.

Where a tenant is no longer entitled to Housing Benefit following an overpayment, we will issue an invoice for the amount of the overpayment. Where payment has been made to the landlord or agent, we may invoice the landlord/ agent if it is reasonable to do so.

Landlords have limited rights of appeal, restricted to where we have made a decision to
- recover an overpayment from the landlord 
- pay benefit direct to a landlord (or not to pay to a landlord).

  To find advice about landlord and tenant matters (other than housing benefit) go to "Advice for private sector landlords and tenants" from our Housing Office

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Updated: 28 Mar 2019
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