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I am a landlord

Landlord newsletters

Landlord Newsletter February 2008 (pdf 196 KB)
Landlord Newsletter April 2009 (pdf 113 KB)
Landlord Newsletter June 2010 (pdf 766 KB)

We believe that landlords are an important stakeholder in the service that we provide. We aim to work with landlords to ensure that they receive payment promptly and to ensure that overpayments are minimised. In return we ask landlords to respect our obligations towards claimant confidentiality and the Data Protection Act 1998 when they make enquiries about their tenants.

Paying Housing Benefit direct to landlords
Paying Housing Benefit direct to landlords' bank accounts
Recovery of overpaid Housing Benefit from landlords
Someone wants to move into my property. Will Housing Benefit cover all the rent I am charging?
Enforcement action to recover rent arrears

Paying Housing Benefit direct to landlords

We can pay your tenants' Housing Benefit entitlement directly to you if your tenant is more than eight weeks in arrears with their rent payments. We may also pay you direct if we decide that your tenant is unlikely to pay, and in some other circumstances.

Please note that if you accept direct payment from us we may require you to pay back money if your tenant receives Housing Benefit to which they are not entitled.

In order to have the rent paid directly, you will need to complete a landlord direct form. Both you and your tenant should sign the form and you should each keep a copy. The form with the original signatures should be sent to us – please do not send us forms with photocopied signatures, as these will not be accepted.

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Paying Housing Benefit direct to landlords' bank accounts

We will pay Housing Benefit entitlement for your tenants straight into your bank account. You will still need to complete a landlord direct form. Both you and your tenant should sign the form and you should each keep a copy. The form with the original signatures should be sent to us – please do not send us forms with photocopied signatures, as these will not be accepted.

If you would like your tenant's Housing Benefit to be paid directly into your bank account, you will also need to complete a Bacs Pay Direct form. This will need to be signed by both yourself and your tenant.

Payment of Housing Benefit to Landlord (pdf 78 KB)

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Recovery of overpaid Housing Benefit from landlords

When we pay Housing Benefit directly to a landlord and the tenant's entitlement to Housing Benefit changes, we may ask the landlord to repay the money that has been overpaid.

Each case is decided on its merits. If we decide that it is appropriate to recover the money from the landlord, we will send an invoice. The invoice will show the period in which the overpayment occurred, the name of the tenant and the amount of overpayment. If a landlord has difficulty repaying the money, our payments team will be happy to negotiate repayment by instalment.

If a landlord fails to make repayments of overpaid Housing Benefit, we can recover outstanding payments from any future payments of Housing Benefit due to be paid to the landlord. We are reluctant to recover overpayments in this way but occasionally we are forced to do so. If we do invoke these powers it means that for each tenant in respect of whom Housing Benefit is being paid, the amount of their entitlement will be offset against the overpayment.

In these cases the landlord must reduce the tenant's rent liability by the full value of their Housing Benefit entitlement. The landlord is not entitled to seek to recover the monies from their tenant.

The legislation that enables this is contained within Section 16 of the Social Security Administration Act 1997.

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Someone wants to move into my property. Will Housing Benefit cover all the rent I am charging?

If you have a prospective tenant, they may want to know how much of their rent charge can be covered by Housing Benefit. Click here to find out about Local Housing Allowance and to check the current rates.

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Enforcement action to recover rent arrears

We aim to pay Housing Benefit within 14 days of receiving all the information we need. We also strive to process a claim within 30 days of it being submitted to us.

Please contact the Benefits Section if you are considering taking enforcement action to recover rent arrears which have arisen because of a delay in the payment of Housing Benefit.

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Last updated on 16 October 2017