Landlords and Housing Benefit

The Data Protection and Social Security Acts mean 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:

  • whether there is a claim for Housing Benefit and, if so, whether we have made a decision about it
  • whether we need further information to make a decision on the claim and, if so, what information this is

My tenant is claiming Housing Benefit - how will it be worked out?

Local Housing Allowance has been the way of working out the maximum benefit your tenant could get since 7 April 2008. Anyone affected by these 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 7 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 that 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 that 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.

How will Housing Benefit be paid?

Housing Benefit is currently paid by BACS directly into a bank or building society account. We regret that we cannot pay into a Post Office account.

For claims subject to the Local Housing Allowance scheme, payments are usually made directly to the claimant.

How often will Housing Benefit be paid?

The law says that Housing Benefit must be paid in arrears and payment will be made every four weeks.

How soon will payments be made once a claim for Housing Benefit has been made?

We aim to pay Housing Benefit within 14 days of receiving 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.

What should I do if my tenant is in rent arrears?

If your tenant is in receipt of Housing Benefit which is payable directly to them and they are more than eight weeks in arrears, you should contact the Benefits department - we may be able to change the method of payment so that it is 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

For further information, please contact Revenues:

Alternatively, you can contact the Housing Team:

Contact: The Revenues & Benefits team

Last updated on 30/07/2018