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.
To pay Housing Benefit we need to see proof of rental liability:
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.
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.
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 on this page.
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.
Housing Benefit will be paid to tenants except in the following circumstances:
New Housing Benefit claims are determined by Local Housing Allowance figures
It is determined by assessing people who need a room in a property:
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.
A tenant’s entitlement to benefit can change dependant on their circumstances or the circumstances of other people who live within the household.
Where payment is paid to a landlord it is made four weekly in arrears by BACS.