Housing benefit information for landlords
This page offers advice and information to help landlords understand the rules relating to a tenant's claim for housing benefit.
Please note, even if we are paying a tenant's housing benefit to you, we cannot discuss every aspect of the benefit claim with you. We can only tell you the amount of benefit and when you can expect to receive payments.
As a landlord you can only challenge a decision that directly affects you, for example, not to pay housing benefit to yourself, or a decision to recover overpaid benefit from you.
If you agree to accept housing benefit payments for your tenant, you have certain responsibilities by law. You must tell us in writing about any change in your tenant's circumstances that might affect their housing benefit entitlement, or you may be prosecuted. For example, you must tell us if:
- the tenant moves out of the property or moves from one room or flat to another within the same property
- someone else moves in with the tenant or if someone living with the tenant moves out
- you know about changes in the tenant's income or if the tenant gets a job.
If your tenant's circumstances change please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your tenant's entitlement
Council Tax support and housing benefit are assessed on the individual circumstances of the person making the claim and their family. The amount that they qualify for depends on a number of things, for example:
- their income and their partners income if they have one
- their savings
- the number of children that live with them
- other people who live with them
- whether they, or someone who lives with them has any illnesses or disabilities.
How and when we pay housing benefit
You should remember that it is your tenant who is entitled to housing benefit, not you. We are only sending their payments to you.
If the amount of benefit your tenant is entitled to changes, the payments we make to you will also change. We will tell you about any changes in your tenant's benefit so that you can collect the difference between your tenant's full rent and any benefit you receive for them.
We will pay the benefit straight into your bank or building society account. We pay housing benefit every 4 weeks, in arrears.
The first payment we send you may not follow this pattern. You will need to register for an online account to be able to check your payments.
Timescale for processing a housing benefit claim
We aim to process claims as quickly as possible. However, this might be delayed for a number of reasons such as:
- if the claim is not fully completed or there are things missing, in which case we will write to your tenant, or in some circumstances you. You need to make sure that your tenant has a fully completed and signed tenancy agreement or rent book.
- if we are waiting for information from a third party such as Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
- if we are not satisfied with the information that has been provided in support of the claim, in which case we will write to your tenant.
If we do not have all of the information need, we will not be able to process the claim.