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Housing Benefit information for private landlords

Benefit information for private landlords

Universal Credit

If your tenant claims Universal Credit any help they are eligible for towards their rent costs will have already been paid within their Universal Credit payments. Therefore they do not need to make a separate claim for Housing Benefit.

Housing Benefit and Local Housing Allowance

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) replaced Housing Benefit in 2008. It is used to work out benefit claims for tenants who rent accomodation.

However, if your tenant has been receiving Housing Benefit since before 7 April 2008, Local Housing Allowance will only apply to them if they change address or have a break in their claim.

Local Housing Allowance does not affect tenants in social housing.

Under Local Housing Allowance rules benefit is based on :

  • The area the property is in
  • Who lives there
  • How much money your tenant has coming in
  • How much savings your tenant has
  • The number of rooms your tenant needs

It is not based on how much rent you charge the tenant.  

Local Housing Allowance rates

View the Local Housing Allowance rate for your property.

They are reviewed every April by the Valuation Office Agency

Payment of Housing Benefit / Local Housing Allowance

Payment is normally made by Bacs directly into the requested bank account.

Housing Benefit

The tenant can choose who they want their housing benefit payments to be made to. If it is paid to the tenant it is every 2 weeks in arrears. If it is paid to the landlord it is every 4 weeks in arrears. Landlords can complete an application form to have payments made to a landlord's account (PDF,224KB).

Local Housing Allowance

Local Housing Allowance is usually paid to the tenant, but in some cases it may be possible to pay Local Housing Allowance directly to the landlord. If it is paid to the tenant it is every 2 weeks in arrears. If it is paid to the landlordit is every 4 weeks in arrears. Landlords can complete an application form to have payments made to a landlord's account (PDF,224KB).

Read more about when Local Housing Allowance can be paid directly to the landlord in our Safeguards Policy (PDF, 200KB). You can contact us for more information about this.

Apply for Local Housing Allowance to be paid directly to a landlord (PDF, 39KB).

Payment can alternatively be paid by closed cheque. This will be paid every 4 weeks in arrears, whether paid to landord or tenant.

Where direct payment is made to the landlord, a letter confirming the start date of the claim and the amount payable will be sent to you.

If your tenant is in rent arrears to the equivalent of 8 weeks or more please contact us as we may be able to pay their Local Housing Allowance directly to you.

Benefit is normally paid from the Monday following receipt of the application form.

Benefit is not normally paid if the tenant has not occupied, or has left the property, even if rent is due to be paid.

Information relating to a tenant's claim

All personal details of the tenant's claim are confidential and cannot be used for any purpose other than assessing benefit unless the tenant agrees in writing to this.

We cannot provide landlords with any information about tenants claims if we pay the benefit to the tenant.

We can provide landlords with the following information if Local Housing Allowance is paid directly to them:

  • The date benefit started
  • The weekly amount of benefit and how often it is paid
  • The amount we are taking directly from benefit to recover an overpayment
  • Details of any cheque or BAC's payments paid direct to them 

View your tenants details online.