Tenants on a low income can claim Housing Benefit, depending on their individual circumstances.
A tenant may lose Housing Benefit if they delay claiming, or it may be restricted for a period if they delay in reporting a change in circumstance that increases their entitlement. Not all tenants are entitled to Housing Benefit, and may not all receive the same amount.
Your tenant may not be entitled to Housing Benefit if -
- they are closely related to you and reside with you
- you are their employer
- the tenancy was created solely to take advantage of the Housing Benefit Scheme
- the tenancy is not on a commercial basis
- living in the property is a condition of their employment
- you or the agent, do not have the right to grant occupation
This list is not exhaustive, you must not assume that Housing Benefit will be paid automatically.
If you are a new hostel, please contact us to arrange an appointment to meet with the hostels team.
If your tenant claims for Housing Benefit we need the following information regarding the tenancy -
- full name, address and contact details of the Landlord
- full name and business address of the managing agent (if applicable)
- date the tenancy agreement started
- amount of rent payable
- any services or meals included in the rent
- payment period/frequency
If these details are not within your tenancy agreement or rent book, you can complete a landlord rent declaration form and give it to your tenant to complete part one and return it to us.
Payment is legally due to the person who claims it, but it can sometimes be paid to someone else at their request. It will normally be paid to you if -
- the tenant requests it in writing
- the tenant has left the property owing rent arrears. This amount could be restricted and may not necessarily be the full amount owed
- the tenant has rent arrears of eight weeks or more
- the council believes it is in the best interest of the tenant
Once a claim has been assessed, your tenant is notified of their entitlement in writing. If they have requested payments directly to yourselves, you also receive notification letters.
Change of circumstances
Where you are receving the payments we notify you of any change in circumstances that affect your tenant's entitlement.
If your tenant is receiving Housing Benefit and has a change in circumstances that you are aware of, you should report it to us as you may be liable to repay any overpayments.
To report any change of circumstances email firstname.lastname@example.org with as much detail as possible.
Direct Payment Agreements (DPA)
All Housing Benefit payments made to landlords or agents are paid by automated credit transfer (BACS).
If you are a landlord or agent and wish to have Housing Benefit payments paid directly to you, you need to complete a direct payment agreement.
If you are currently receiving payments from us, you only need to complete a new DPA form under the following circumstances -
- your company changes from a Trading Company to a Limited Company
- you transfer from joint to single ownership
You should notify us immediately in writing of any other change in your circumstances, for example -
- change of address
- change of bank account details
- change of trading company name
- you no longer wish to receive payments
Payments can only be made directly to the landlord or agent if indicated by the claimant to do so and with our consent.
Failure to complete a DPA form or notify changes in writing may result in delayed or non payment of any Housing Benefit that is awarded.