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Landlords

Frequently asked questions by landlords about Housing Benefit.

How is it paid?

Housing Benefit is usually paid every four weeks direct to the claimant’s bank or building society account by BACS. In some cases payment can be made to the landlord.

Can it be paid to a landlord?

Payment can be made to a private landlord if:

  • we decide that it’s in the best interests of the claimant to do so, for example where a tenant has difficulty managing their finances
  • the landlord has provided evidence that the claimant is 8 weeks or more in arrears with rent, and it’s in the claimant’s interest to make payments direct to the landlord

How can a landlord arrange to be paid direct?

  1. Contact us for advice, we may need you or your tenant to provide evidence as to why you think this is necessary
  2. Fill in the application form and return it to us

What information can be shared with a landlord?

Benefit paid to the tenant

We cannot tell a landlord anything about a claim unless the tenant gives us permission to do so.

Benefit paid direct to the landlord

The following information can be shared:

  • amount of the weekly benefit
  • date on which the benefit began
  • date on which the benefit ended
  • amount of any overpayment and how it will be recovered

Who is responsible for overpayments?

If there's a delay in letting us know about any changes that result in too much benefit being paid, we will try to recover the money. Who we recover it from depends on who the benefit is being paid to.

Benefit paid to the tenant

A landlord has no responsibility for overpayments if benefits are paid to the tenant.

Benefit paid direct to the landlord

The landlord will be asked to repay any overpayments.

A landlord must tell us as soon as there are any changes that may affect their tenant’s benefit entitlement.

Some of the changes we need to know about are:

  • the claimant moves or changes rooms in the property
  • the claimant is temporarily absent from the property
  • changes in the claimant’s income
  • the claimant stops receiving Income Support/ Jobseekers Allowance
  • the claimant goes into hospital or prison
  • someone moves in with the claimant

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