Tenants on a low income may be eligible for help with their housing costs. This depends on the individual household circumstances. It may be Housing Benefit which is administrated by us, or Universal Credit which is delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Permission from your tenant must be provided to Housing Benefit or the DWP. They can then discuss any part of their claims with you, including if an application has been made.
Housing Benefit can still be claimed by tenants who -
- are single and of State Pension age, or a couple where both who have reached State Pension age
- are a mixed age couple and currently receive Pension credits as a couple
- have been placed in temporary accommodation by the council
- live in accommodation where they receive care, support and supervision and it is a condition of their tenancy
If none of the above applies to your tenant, help for their housing costs will be included within the housing element of Universal Credit. You need to contact the DWP for further information. Or, access GOV.UK for further information
What to do if your tenant can claim, or is already in receipt of Housing Benefit
Your tenant may lose out on Housing Benefit if they delay claiming or reporting a change in circumstance that increases their entitlement.
Your tenant may not be entitled to Housing Benefit if the following applies -
- they are a close relation and live with you
- you are their employer
- if the council consider the tenancy was created to take advantage of the Housing Benefit scheme
- the tenancy is not commercial
- where occupation of the property is a condition of employment
- you or the agent do not have the right to grant occupation
When a tenant makes a claim for Housing Benefit, they will need to provide evidence of the amount of rent charged. This can be in the form of a tenancy agreement, you can provide a letter or complete a landlord declaration form.