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Housing benefit information for landlords


If you are a landlord and your tenants get housing benefit, this page gives important information about payment arrangements, what information we can share with you and who is responsible for paying back overpaid benefit.

Can your tenant's benefit be paid directly to you?

Housing benefit will usually be paid directly to your tenant. However we will consider paying it directly to you if:

  • Your tenant has difficulty managing their finances.
  • Your tenant is deemed to be unlikely to pay their rent. This could be because we have evidence of a history of non-payment, or that a tenant has not used housing benefit to pay rent in the past.
  • The rent is set at an affordable level, and payments to the landlord will help the tenant to secure or keep a tenancy.

If your tenant is eight weeks or more behind with their rent, we will pay the money directly to you even if your tenant does not agree.

How can direct payment be arranged?

Contact us in the first instance. We may need you or your tenant to provide evidence as to why you think this is necessary.

If you want to ask us to pay you directly because your tenant is having difficulty managing their finances, then your tenant will need to complete our   Icon for pdf request to have housing benefit paid to your landlord form (PDF, 69.6kb) .

What can we tell a landlord about a tenant's claim?

What we can tell you depends on who the benefit is being paid to.

If we're paying housing benefit to your tenant

If benefits are being paid to the tenant, we cannot tell you anything about a claim unless the tenant gives us permission to do so.

If we're paying housing benefit directly to you

If the benefit is being paid to you, we'll write to let you know the weekly amount, how much the first payment will be and when it's due to be made. We can also tell you the following without needing consent from the tenant:

  • if a claim form has been submitted,
  • if we're waiting for further information to support the claim (we cannot tell you what the information is unless it relates to the tenancy or rent),
  • if the claim is for backdated benefit.

Do landlords have any responsibility with regards to paying back overpaid benefit?

If there's a delay in letting us know about any changes in circumstances that result in too much benefit being paid we will try to recover the money. Who we try to recover it from depends on who the benefit is being paid to.

If we're paying housing benefit to your tenant

You have no responsibility for overpayments if benefits are being paid to the tenant.

If we're paying housing benefit directly to you

When we set up the payment to you, you agree to let us know straight away if you become aware of any changes in your tenant's circumstances. If we feel it is reasonable that you were aware of a change and didn't let us know we can choose to recover the money from you.

What you need to make sure you do

Let us know as soon as possible if any circumstances about the tenancy change, such as:

  • Your tenant moves out.
  • Other people move in or out of the property.
  • You change the amount of rent you're charging.

If in doubt, contact us.

Contact us
Landlords (benefits)
03000 26 2000
Our address is:
  • Revenues and Benefits
  • PO Box 238
  • Stanley
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH8 1FP
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