Due to the Data Protection and Social Security Acts we cannot automatically give information about Housing Benefit claims to landlords.
However, if a tenant has given us written permission to talk about their claim, we will tell their landlord:
Local Housing Allowance is the new way of working out the maximum benefit your tenant could get with effect from 7th April 2008. Anyone affected by the new rules will have their Housing Benefit worked out in this way rather than the rent officer setting the level of benefit.
Claimants in receipt of benefit prior to the 7th April 2008 will continue to have their rent referred to the Rent Service unless they move address or stop claiming housing benefit for at least a week.
The Rent Service will notify the Benefits office of the maximum rent which can be covered by Housing Benefit after comparing rents of similar properties in the area; this includes comparing rents with properties in adjoining neighbourhoods.
The Rent Service will also consider the size of the property and the needs of the claimant and his or her family. If the property is considered too large the Rent Service will also compare rents of smaller properties which would better suit the needs of the claimant and his or her family. If the rent is considered too high or the property too large the rent officer will advise the local authority that they must pay Housing Benefit based on a lower rent than the landlord is charging.
Housing Benefit is currently paid by BACS directly into a bank or building society account. I regret that we cannot pay into a Post Office account.
The law says that Housing Benefit must be paid in arrears and payment will be made every 4 weeks.
We aim to pay Housing Benefit within 14 days after we receive all the information required to be able to determine the claim. We will make a payment on account within 14 days if the claimant has provided all of the information required of them.
If your tenant is in receipt of Housing Benefit which is payable directly to them and they are more than 8 weeks in arrears, you should contact the Benefits department because we may be able to change the method of payment so that they are paid to you. If you are receiving payments of Housing Benefit for your tenants, you have a duty to tell us straight away if you find out about any change in his or her circumstances that may affect their Benefit.
Further information on working with landlords is available.
For further information, please contact Revenues on 01789 260991, or by emailing Benefits.email@example.com . Alternatively you can contact the Housing Team on 01789 260848 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .