Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

How is Housing Benefit paid?

Housing benefit is usually paid to a tenant directly by BACS  because it is quick, efficient, safe and cost effective.

If you do not have a bank account, information about basic accounts is available here.

We can pay a landlord directly in certain circumstances which include:

  • If the landlord is a registered social landlord or housing association
  • If the tenant is more than 8 weeks in arrears
  • If the tenant has a history of rent arrears
  • If the tenant is vulnerable or unable to manage their financial affairs
  • If the tenant is unlikely to pay their rent, either through an inability to manage financial affairs, substance dependency or disability.

If you wish to have payments made directly to your landlord, or you are a landlord who would like to apply for direct payments, please contact us. We may require further information or evidence to support your application but this will depend on the circumstances.

If we have received information about 8 weeks or more rent arrears, we will normally suspend the Housing Benefit payments to allow the tenant to confirm or dispute the arrears.

First payments to landlords

In relation to most new claims for Housing Benefit, we will usually make a first payment to a landlord by cheque which we will send to the tenant. This can support new tenancies as first payments are usually larger than regular payments.