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Advice for landlords

Housing Benefit is a means tested benefit for help towards payments of rent.

When an application is made the applicant is asked whether information can be shared with their landlord. If they sign to agree we may be able to tell you how much they are being awarded to help with rent payments.

If your tenant is behind with their rent payments

In some circumstances it is possible to have payments made directly to the landlord. We are required to pay direct to landlords if the tenant:

  • has built up eight weeks or more in rent arrears
  • is having deductions taken from their Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance to pay rent arrears.

If your tenant has missed rent payments, you do not need to wait until eight weeks arrears have built up, you should contact us immediately.

As a council we also have the discretion to pay direct to the landlord if we consider:

  • the tenant is likely to have difficulty managing their affairs, for example if the customer has a learning disability, or drug or alcohol problems
  • it is improbable the customer will pay their rent, for example we are aware the tenant has failed to pay their rent in the past without good reason.

Landlords can be paid direct if they meet the safeguard criteria in the safeguard policy:

A tenant can request that their housing benefit is paid directly to their landlord using this form:

Apply to have housing benefit paid directly into a bank account using this form:

Overpayments

Sometimes overpayments are unavoidable, but you can stop them happening by telling us when your tenant’s circumstances change.