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Housing Benefit advice for landlords

If you are a private landlord, we can only give you limited information about a tenant's claim for Housing Benefit and we can only pay Housing Benefit direct to you in certain circumstances. If your tenant is receipt of Universal Credit all Landlord queries or requests for payments are dealt with by the DWP.

Further information regarding Universal Credit and how it affects you as a Landlord can be found on their web pageOpens new window and the Universal Credit Services Centre telephone line is 0345 6000 723 or 0845 6000 723

Information we can give you regarding Housing Benefits

The details of any benefit claim made by your tenant are confidential. If Housing Benefit is not being paid to you, we cannot even tell you if a benefit claim has been made unless we have your tenant's consent to do so.

If Housing Benefit is payable to you, we will be able to tell you:

  • The weekly entitlement
  • When benefit starts and finishes
  • When the entitlement changes

No other information regarding a claim can be given to landlords unless we have written authority from the tenant to do so.

Can we pay your tenant's Housing Benefit direct to you?

Usually, for most new tenants, the answer to this question is no. New tenants usually claim Housing benefit under the Local Housing Allowance rules and cannot simply choose to have benefit paid directly to their landlord.

We can make the payment direct to you in the following circumstances although we will need to be told that one or more of the criteria may apply and we will need to see evidence supporting any statements made.

  • If your tenant has rent arrears of eight weeks or more please contact us as soon as possible. When we are satisfied that there is less than eight weeks owing we can start paying your tenant again.
  • If your tenant is vulnerable and unable to manage their affairs.
  • If your tenant is unlikely to pay their rent.
  • If your tenant is having deductions made from Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance to pay off rent arrears.

The best way to ask us for direct payments of a tenants Housing Benefit is to complete a PDF Document Landlord Direct Payment Request form (PDF, 52KB)Opens new window and send or bring it to us.

If your tenants have been with you for some time (usually years) and their Housing Benefit claim does not come under the Local Housing Allowance rules, they can choose for payments to be made directly to you. However, please be aware that they can also ask us to stop paying you direct at any time.

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