What can you tell me about my tenant’s Housing Benefit?
If we pay the Housing Benefit to your tenant
Your tenant has to provide authority to disclose details of their Housing Benefit claim to you. They can do this by completing the sharing information with your landlord form. This is the only authority form we will accept for this purpose.
If they give us permission, we can tell you:
- whether we have made a decision on a claim, or
- when and how much a payment will be
We cannot give you confidential information about their personal circumstances.
If we pay the Housing Benefit to you
We will send you notifications when we start or stop paying you directly.
We are able to tell you:
- the date benefit started / ended
- the weekly amount of benefit
- how often we pay
- how much is being deducted from payments to repay an overpayment
- details of any payments made directly to you
We cannot give you confidential information about your tenant’s personal circumstances.
The information that is available to landlords can be obtained on-line by registering for our Benefits online self service.
If the information you are looking for is not available via our portal, it is unlikely it can be shared.
Please note, we cannot discuss claims with landlords over the telephone as we require clear records of what information has been requested and shared.
My tenant is in arrears
If your tenant is in more than 8 weeks of rent arrears and you believe your tenant may receive Housing Benefit, you can contact us to ask that we pay any Housing Benefit directly to you.
You will need to provide us:
- Your name and address
- Your tenant’s name and address
- Evidence of the arrears, such as a rent statement or arrears notice
We will then investigate whether your tenant receives Housing Benefit. If they do, we will contact them about their arrears and advise them you have requested direct payments.
If we are able to pay you directly, we will contact you to request your bank details and ask you to complete a declaration confirming you understand the responsibilities which accompany receiving direct payment of Housing Benefit.
How will you pay me?
We pay landlords every 4 weeks in arrears. All payments are made by BACS. We will not send you a schedule of payments, you can obtain a schedule by registering for a Benefits online self service account.
What changes do I need to tell you about?
When receiving Housing Benefit payments directly, you have an obligation to keep us informed of changes you could reasonably expect to affect your tenant’s Housing Benefit.
These changes include:
- If your tenant tells you someone has moved in or out of the property
- If your tenant tells you about a change in their income or savings
- If you change the rental charge
- If your tenant moves out
We have a form you can complete if you have a change of tenant, this form will notify both the Housing Benefit and Council Tax sections.
If you fail to tell us about a change you knew about, we may invoice you for overpaid Housing Benefit.
You should also tell us about changes which affect how we contact you or pay you, such as if you change address or close your bank account.
What if I disagree with a Housing Benefit decision?
It is important to remember that even if you receive the Housing Benefit payments, it is your tenant’s claim and entitlement is based on their circumstances and the information they provide.
There are certain circumstances where you can challenge a Housing Benefit decision and this is where you are the affected party. These circumstances are usually limited to when we have decided an overpayment is recoverable from you.
Any decisions we have made in relation to the personal circumstances of your tenant can only be challenged by your tenant.
You are unable to ask for reconsiderations of Housing Benefit decisions where you are not the affected party, or apply for additional support such as Discretionary Housing Benefits on behalf of your tenant. If you would like to support your tenant with making these requests this is welcomed, however to ensure requests are authorised by the claimant, they must either be sent to us by the claimant’s known contact email address or be signed by the claimant.