Receiving benefits payments
Frequently asked questions
My tenant is in rent arrears - what can I do?
If your tenant is receiving Housing Benefit payments directly and either of the following apply:
- they are eight weeks or more in arrears
- they are having deductions made from their Income Support, Job Seeker's Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
please let us know in writing so we can look into it. We may decide that future payments should be sent directly to you.
Can my tenant choose to have their Housing Benefit payments sent to me?
If your tenant has their Housing Benefit assessed using the rules for Local Housing Allowance (LHA) payments it will usually be paid directly to them, unless their circumstances mean they are considered in need of safeguarding, for example:
- they have learning difficulties
- they have literacy difficulties
- they have a medical or mental health condition that would make it difficult for them to manage their own financial affairs
- they have a substance or alcohol addiction
- they have a history of debt problems or rent arrears
These are just some examples, and there are other reasons why it also may be more appropriate for payments to be made to someone other than the tenant, so please contact us to discuss. Each case will be considered on its own merits.
If your tenant is claiming Housing Benefit, it will be paid as directed in the original claim application.
If I'm receiving direct payments for Housing Benefit, how often will I receive them?
Every four weeks in arrears, meaning for the previous four week period.
Do I have the right to appeal about my tenant's Housing Benefit?
Usually you would not have the right to appeal about your tenant's Housing Benefit award, including the LHA rate used to calculate it.
You can appeal about decisions regarding who should receive the Housing Benefit payments. Please contact us to discuss.
If there is an overpayment, will I have to repay the money?
A benefit overpayment can occur when circumstances change without us knowing about it and as result you are paid more benefit than you should get. For example, if a tenant vacates a property but you continue to receive benefit.
To prevent a benefit overpayment you must tell us as soon as you become aware of any overpayment, or change in circumstances which will result in an overpayment.
You may have to pay the money back if:
- we think that you reasonably could have been expected to know about the change in circumstances that caused an overpayment
- you contributed towards a fraudulent benefits claim by giving us the wrong information
Authority to disclose
As a landlord, you can enquire about your tenant's benefit claims as long as the claimant has provided written permission by signing the form below:
This form is also included in the benefits claim form.
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Page last updated: 06 January 2021