If you are unfamiliar with Housing Benefit, please read the information on our other pages, particularly in the section How much benefit will I get?
Under the Local Housing Allowance scheme, their Housing Benefit will be paid directly to them unless he/she:
We can also make payments directly to you on our discretion if helps secure a new tenancy or maintain an existing one.
The Government hopes that paying Housing Benefit to claimants will promote personal responsibility and encourage them to budget for themselves and develop better financial skills. We have a vulnerability policy (217 KB) to minimise the risk of tenants falling into rent arrears and being put at risk of eviction. It also lets you know about safeguards to help you.
If you can provide us with evidence that your tenant is more than eight weeks in arrears with their full rent payments, we will consider paying future benefits directly to you. We will not be able to pay you for any arrears if we have already sent payments to your tenant - you will have to arrange collection of these.
To help you see details of Housing Benefit payments quickly and securely, we have a secure website. By using your landlord reference and a password to log on, you can see details of all payments made to you in the past two years. See our electronic payment information for landlords page for more details.
When they apply for Housing Benefit, claimants are told that they must let us know immediately if they have any changes of circumstances. Despite this, claimants often forget to tell us and as a result we sometimes make overpayments.
If we have made incorrect payments directly to you because you failed to provide us with information, you may need to repay them. If this happens, you must treat the repaid sum as rent arrears and recover them in the most appropriate way.
If you don't repay an overpayment which we have demanded, we may recover it from future direct payments. We are reluctant to do this but will not hesitate if we feel there is no alternative. If we invoke these powers – through the Social Security Administration Act 1997 Section 16 – it means that each tenant for whom Housing Benefit is being paid will have their direct payment reduced by the amount of overpayment we are collecting. You must reduce each tenant's rent liability by the full value of their Housing Benefit entitlement and you can't recover this reduction by treating them as rent arrears.