Information for Landlords
What information is needed?
If your tenant has made a claim for Housing Benefit, we will need them to provide information about their personal circumstances such as their income and savings. We will also need them to provide proof that they have a tenancy. The best way to do this is for them to provide a tenancy agreement showing that they have to pay rent to you.
If this information is not given to us on time, it can delay payments of Housing Benefit.
Are there restrictions on letting a property to a family member?
As long as the tenancy agreement is on a commercial basis then your tenant should be able to make a claim for Housing Benefit to help them pay rent to you.
However, if you are a "close-relative" and also live in the same property as the tenant, then we will not be able to pay Housing Benefit to them.
There are other conditions such as if you are the former partner of the tenant or if you are the parent of the tenant's children that will mean that we cannot pay Housing Benefit. We will ask about this on the application form we send to the tenant.
Can you tell me what is happening to my tenant's Housing Benefit claim?
Some tenants may not want their landlord to know that they are receiving Housing Benefit so we have to respect that. We ask each tenant if they are happy for us to discuss their claim with their landlord. If they agree, we can share information with the landlord.
Will the Housing Benefit be paid straight to me?
If someone has made a claim for Housing Benefit after 7 April 2008, then the law says that we should pay the tenant Housing Benefit direct to them. They should then use this to pay their rent to you. We pay Housing Benefit to a tenant every two weeks in arrears.
There are certain conditions when we can make payments of Housing Benefit straight to you:
1. If the tenant is in arrears with their rent of 8 weeks or more.
If the tenant has fallen behind with their rent and has arrears of 8 weeks or more, we have to pay the landlord as long as the landlord is a "fit and proper person". If your tenant is falling behind with their rent, please contact us so that we can make arrangements to pay you.
2. The tenant is unable to manage their affairs or may be unlikely to pay their rent.
Because a tenant has other debts, they may not be able to manage their finances so that they pay their rent on time. This might be due to a number of reasons such as that they have drink or drug problems or that they need help to manage their money in general. We consider each case individually and if there is a possible problem, we will make payments of Housing Benefit to the landlord.
3. If it helps them secure the tenancy and stay in the property.
If you have accepted a lower rent, or one that is at or below Local Housing Allowance levels then we can make payments to the landlord if that is what is needed to secure the tenancy.
How often do you pay Housing Benefit to a landlord?
We make payment to landlords, on behalf of their tenants, every four weeks in arrears. You will get a notification when we pay you and our preferred method is to pay straight into your bank account.
What if my tenant's circumstances change?
Generally, your tenant should tell us if anything has changed that would affect their Housing Benefit. If you are receiving payments of Housing Benefit for a tenant and you are aware that something has changed, you must tell us. This could be something such as the tenant has given you notice that they are leaving their property.
If you don't tell us, we could ask you to repay any overpayment of Housing Benefit.
If you receive Housing Benefit on behalf of your tenant, you can view details of the account on-line such as what payments we have made and what they are made up of. Follow the link below for more information (Registration is required).