Housing Benefit information for landlords

Changes to benefits - Universal Credit

If your tenant receives Universal Credit, you can find out more information on our Universal Credit page.

What are the tenant's and landlord's responsibilities?

An agreement to pay rent for a property is between a tenant and landlord, it is the responsibility of a tenant to pay their rent.

Payment of Housing Benefit to a tenant or on behalf of a tenant direct to a landlord does not affect this agreement or constitute any agreement between the Council and a landlord or their agent with regard to the tenancy.

What information does a landlord need to provide?

To pay Housing Benefit we need to see proof of rental liability:

  • Date the tenancy started 
  • Date the tenant moved in 
  • Rent charged 
  • Number and type of rooms in the property 
  • Rooms occupied by the tenant 
  • Landlord's name and address and a tenancy agreement or a letter from the landlord which should show the date the tenancy began, the amount of rent charged and any services included in the rent (such as heating or meals)

Can a landlord appoint an agent?

Yes a landlord can appoint an agent to act on their behalf. We would need a letter from the landlord giving the agent authority to act on their behalf.

What can we tell a landlord about Housing Benefit?

The Council has a responsibility to maintain the confidentiality of client data in accordance with the Data Protection Act.

Where Housing Benefit is paid directly to a tenant we are unable to discuss or confirm if there is a Housing Benefit claim without the written consent of the tenant.

Where payments are made direct to a landlord we can share some information without the tenant’s consent.

  • The amount of Housing Benefit that the customer is entitled to (but not how it is calculated) 
  • The date from which it will be paid 
  • How often it will be paid.

We may be able to provide additional information with the specific written consent of the tenant.

For full details please see our Landlord Disclosure Policy (PDF).

What if a tenant doesn't use their Housing Benefit to pay their rent?

Once Housing Benefit has been paid we are unable to pay it again for the same period even if the tenant does not pass the money on.

We have no powers to make tenants pass payments on to you and are unable to intervene in any disputes. However if you believe that a tenant is in receipt of Housing Benefit and is eight weeks or more in arrears you should tell us.

Can Housing Benefit be paid to a landlord?

Housing Benefit will be paid to tenants except in the following circumstances:

  • Where the tenant is in rent arrears of eight weeks or more, or has previously been in arrears and there is a likelihood they will not pass payments on. 
  • Where a landlord reduces the rent to an affordable amount to enable a tenant to remain in a property 
  • Where a tenant has difficulty managing their finances

How much Housing Benefit can be paid?

New Housing Benefit claims are determined by Local Housing Allowance figures.

It is determined by assessing people who need a room in a property:

  • an adult couple 
  • 2 children under 16 of the same sex 
  • 2 children under 10 (regardless of sex) 
  • a single adult (16 or over) 
  • any other child

Single people under the age of 35 are paid what is known as a shared accommodation rate.

The Directgov LHA bedroom calculator gives an indication of how many bedrooms are needed.

The number of rooms needed by the occupants is used to determine the appropriate Local Housing Allowance Rate.

You can use Directgov to find LHA rates - enter how many bedrooms are needed or shared accommodation rate and type in the postcode.

Please note the Local Housing Allowance figure quoted will be the maximum housing benefit that can be paid for the property and household circumstances, actual benefit will be determined by assessing a tenant's income, savings and benefits and may be a lower figure.

Can a tenant's entitlement to Housing Benefit change?

A tenant’s entitlement to benefit can change dependant on their circumstances or the circumstances of other people who live within the household.

How is Housing Benefit paid?

Where payment is paid to a landlord it is made four weekly in arrears by BACS.

You can apply for benefit to be paid by BACS (PDF, 37 Kb).

Contact details

Bradford Council
Visit us (call us first to make an appointment)

Call us : 01274 432772
Email : benefits@bradford.gov.uk

Write to us at:

Housing Benefits and Reductions
PO Box 1251