We support tenants living in private accomodation to pay their rent if they are on a low income and are eligible for Housing Benefit.
If your tenant receives housing benefit and has rent arrears
The Housing Benefit regulations say that if your tenant owes you 8 weeks of rent or more, we must pay you their Housing Benefit for that amount directly (if we are not already doing so). This can include rent payable in advance. We may, however, decide that it is not in the tenant’s best interest to do this.
You should tell us by email or post the amount of money that is overdue and how many weeks of rent it covers.
If we overpay your tenant
If we have paid too much Housing Benefit, we can ask you or your tenant to pay the money back. We may recover the overpayment by:
- taking money from the ongoing benefit of the person claiming
- taking money from the payment we make to you for other tenants
- sending an invoice to either you or your tenant
Disclosing information to you or your tenant
If we pay Housing Benefit to your tenant, we cannot give you any information about their claim unless they have given us written permission to discuss their claim with you. We can't even tell you if they have made a claim.
If we pay Housing Benefit to you, we can tell you:
- details of any payment paid direct to you
- the date the payment starts and ends
- the weekly amount and how often it is paid
- the amount we are taking to recover an overpayment
If we pay your tenant’s Housing Benefit direct to your agent, we cannot give you any information. You will have to ask your tenant or agent for any information you need.
Appealing decisions we make
Once we have decided whether to pay Housing Benefit to you or your tenant, you can appeal our decision. We will then reconsider the decision. You can appeal by email or post and within one calendar month of the date on the decision letter we have sent you. Any appeal must give the reasons why you think our decision is wrong.
We will send you an acknowledgement when we have received your appeal. We will then write to you with our decision when we have reconsidered your appeal. The letter will explain what to do if you still disagree with us.
Landlords can only appeal about who we pay the money to and who we recover it from. You cannot appeal about the amount awarded or the dates it has been awarded for. Tenants can ask for a reconsideration of any decision we have made about their claim. We tell them about their appeal rights in the letters we send out.