Housing benefit - information for landlords
We believe that landlords are important stakeholders in the service that we provide. We aim to work with landlords to ensure that they receive payment promptly.
In return, we ask landlords to respect our obligations towards claimant confidentially and the rules regarding the disclosure of information to a third party when they make enquiries about their tenants.
Private tenants and safeguarding
For private tenants who we make local housing allowance payments to, we would normally only make payments direct to the tenant. However safeguards will be put in place to protect the vulnerable and so in certain cases we can pay tenants’ housing benefit entitlement directly to landlords. Our safeguard application form (PDF, 52kb) will need to be completed and any request for payment to a landlord will need to be supported by evidence from a third party.
If your tenant is in arrears by 8 weeks or more
Benefit can still be paid to a landlord if a tenant falls into arrears of 8 weeks or more. Written proof of arrears will be required and so landlords should ensure they keep detailed records of the rent account.
Housing Association tenants / private tenancies with claims prior to 07/04/2008
For Housing Association tenants, or for private tenants whose date of claim is prior to 7 April 2008, in order to have rent paid directly, landlords will need to complete a direct payment of housing benefit to landlords (PDF, 3270kb) form and return it to us.
Obligations of a landlord
Please note that if you accept direct payment from us you may be required to pay back the money if your tenant receives housing benefit to which they are not entitled.
Also a landlord has a duty to inform us if a tenant for whom they are being paid benefit leaves their property.