Housing Benefit information for landlords

Housing Benefit is a benefit we give to tenants to help pay some or all their rent. The amount of benefit depends on the circumstances of the person claiming it. 

It’s usually paid directly to the tenant, but we can pay it directly to the landlord in certain circumstances. 

If your tenant is on Universal Credit you’ll need to read the guidance on the Universal Credit and landlords pages. 

How a claim is made

To make a claim for Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction a tenant must complete our online Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction form and send their supporting documents to us.  

Your tenant may ask you to complete a landlord declaration [pdf] 544KB.

What happens next

If we pay your tenant 

You will not be told when we decide on their claim. 

If we pay you 

We’ll contact you explaining: 

  • how much benefit your tenant will get 

  • the amount of your first payment and 

  • the date it will be made 

Sign in to your online landlord account 

If you are already registered you can use your account to get information about your tenant’s Housing Benefit. 

Sign in to your landlord account

Register for an online landlord account 

You can manage your Housing Benefit payments using our Landlord Portal. If you haven’t registered yet then please select the button below giving us your details and we will be in touch.

Register for a landlord account

To find out more about the landlord portal see our user guide.

Amount of benefit that will be paid

Your tenants can use an online calculator to find out how much benefit they can get. 

The maximum amount that can be paid will depend on which Local Housing Allowance rate your property falls into.

How benefit is paid

If we pay your tenant

We pay benefit to your tenant’s bank account every 4 weeks in arrears. Your tenant is responsible for paying the rent with this money and for paying any shortfall between rent and Housing Benefit. 

If your tenant has rent arrears

If your tenant owes you rent of 8 weeks or more, we can pay their Housing Benefit straight to your bank or building society account every 4 weeks in arrears.   

You'll need to provide evidence [pdf] 154KB that your tenant is more than 8 weeks in arrears with their rent. 

Your tenant will still need to make up any ongoing shortfall between rent and Housing Benefit and pay you any arrears. 

Contact us via the landlord portal if you want us to pay you direct. 

If a tenant is considered vulnerable 

We will make the decision on whether we consider a tenant to be vulnerable and we will require evidence to make this decision.  

Full details can be found within our payment to landlord policy

What we can tell you about your tenant's claim

If we pay your tenant

We can tell you some information about their claim if they give their consent. 

If we pay you 

We can tell you the below information without your tenant’s consent: 

  • payment details 

  • the period a payment or payments relate to 

  • overpayment details for certain types of overpayments 

Changes in circumstances

If we’re paying your tenant’s Housing Benefit directly to you, you must tell us about any changes of circumstances within one month of them occurring. Examples you are expected to tell us of are: 

  • if your tenant moves out 

  • if your tenant changes accommodation (including changing rooms or flats within the same building) 

  • if you change the rent you charge them 

  • if you are aware that somebody else moves in 
  • if your circumstances change, for example your address or bank details 

We can recover overpayments from you if we think you knew about a change and did not tell us. Failure to tell us of rent increases on time could lead to your tenant missing out on a benefit increase.

If you have a landlord portal account

After selecting the below button you’ll need to:  

  • sign into your online account 

  • select view claims 

  • select the reference number that relates to the tenant whose circumstances have changed 

  • select get in touch 

  • choose the relevant option from the dropdown list - what do you want to tell us about. 

  • select the send notification button once all the information is input  

Sign in to your landlord portal account

Once we’ve received the information you should get an automatic email confirming the details you submitted. 

If you do not have a landlord portal account

If you do not have a landlord portal account, you’ll need to select the below button to tell us about any changes. 

You’ll need to include: 

  • the name of your tenant 

  • the address of your tenant 

  • any reference numbers  

  • the change of details 

  • your contact details 

Tell us about a change

How we recover overpayments

If we find that you or your tenant have been overpaid benefit, we will take steps to recover this.  

We can: 

  • take money from your tenant's ongoing benefit 

  • take money off your payments for other tenants 

  • send an invoice to you or your tenant 

If you disagree with our decision

You can appeal against our decision to recover an overpayment from you. 

See our page on How to appeal for more information. 

Landlord forum

We work with the National Landlords Association who hold a forum for local private landlords. These are held 3 times a year and enable landlords to raise issues of concern, exchange views and opinions. We also take the opportunity to update landlords on legislation and provide information on any relevant council information.