Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

Information for landlords

Authority to discuss your tenants’ claim

If your tenant agrees to have their claim discussed with you, we will be able to provide information on

· the amount of housing benefit in payment

· the amount of any deductions being taken if applicable

· payment dates

· the claim status i.e. live/suspended/waiting assessment

We cannot discuss

· personal details of the claimant or any other residents

· income details

· employment details

· previous or forwarding addresses

· Council Tax payments or arrears

If authority to discuss is not covered in your tenancy agreement, please ask your tenant to complete an authority to discuss form.

If your tenant has not provided authority to discuss for their claim, we will not confirm a claim at all.

Payments to landlords

Most payments of housing benefit are paid directly to the tenant, however there are circumstances in which we will support payments to a landlord:

Arrears

If your tenant is 8 or more weeks in arrears with their rent, please let us know. We require details from you which can be a list of expected and missed payments or a copy of a rent book.

Once we receive this information, we will suspend the claim and write to your tenant to allow them to confirm or contest the arrears. If your tenant confirms the arrears or does not reply, we will normally make payments to the landlord.

If a tenant contests the arrears we will ask for proof of payment and will make a decision based on the weight of evidence in each case.

Once a tenant is no longer in arrears, they can make an application to have their payments made to them again. Each case is decided on its merits.

Vulnerable tenants

In order to help safeguard tenancies we will consider making payments to landlords if the tenant is vulnerable or may struggle to make payments directly themselves. There is no definition for vulnerable that we work from in these cases and we assess each claim on its merits. An example may include a disabled tenant who receives support with other every day living arrangements and who can be supported by having direct payments to their landlord. Other tenants with a history or arrears or substance dependency may also benefit from having their payments made to their landlord.

In many cases the tenant or their support worker or appointee will request direct payment when a claim is made.

Please contact us if you wish to apply for direct payment.

Our online services

If you receive direct payment of housing benefit for any of your tenants, you can sign up to our connect services which show payment details online.

We no longer provide payment schedules to landlords and so logging on to our connect service will allow you to match payments or see claim statuses.

Tell us about a change

If you become aware of a change in your tenant’s circumstances or if they move, please let us know.