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Housing Benefit payments direct to landlords

You can only receive payments as a landlord directly under certain conditions. You can receive payments directly if:

  1. Your tenant's claim doesn't come under Local Housing Allowance rules (most private tenants claiming Housing Benefit after April 2008), and they choose direct payments to you. They can ask us to stop paying directly to you, and we will write and tell you if this happens.
  2. We think the tenant is unable to handle their own affairs or unlikely to pay their rent
  3. You show us that the tenant is more than eight weeks in arrears with their full rent payments, and we don't think direct payments to you would be against their best interests. In these cases, we may temporarily stop paying altogether.

Direct payments to you will be paid into your bank or building society account every four weeks in arrears, which means for the four weeks that have just passed.

You must tell us about changes, for example, if your tenant moves out, and repay any benefit overpayments promptly.

Other exemptions

Some specific types of Housing Benefit claim are also exempt from the rules, which means the money can be paid to you or your agent. These include:

  1. Claims made before 7th April 2008
  2. Claims by tenants of Registered Social Landlords or Registered Housing Associations
  3. Claims on tenancies which started before 15 January 1989
  4. Claims on supported housing where the landlord is a registered social landlord, charity, or not-for-profit voluntary organisation that provides the tenant with care, support, or supervision
  5. Claims for hostel dwellers
  6. Claims for tenancies where we decide that a substantial part of the rent is for board and attendance.

Apply to have Housing Benefit paid to you directly

You will need to prove to us that your tenant is more than 8 weeks in arrears with their full rent payments. Future Housing Benefit payments may be paid to you directly.

You will have to resolve existing arrears with the tenant as normal.

Please contact us first to discuss.

Sign up for direct Housing Benefit payments

To sign up for direct Housing Benefit payments you will need to complete the form below and return to the address here.

Housing Benefit Direct Payment to Landlords Application Form.

If you have already signed up for direct Housing Benefit payments, you can sign into your account here.

Appeal a decision

If you disagree with our decision you can appeal here

If overpayments are made direct to landlords

If payments are being made directly to you as landlord and they were overpaid because of information that you failed to provide, you may be required to repay the overpayments to us in the following ways:

  1. Invoice for full and immediate payment.
  2. Ongoing benefit deductions from future direct payments of your tenant’s benefit.
  3. Blameless Tenant Recovery. Under the Social Security Administration Act 1997 Section 16 we can invoke these powers to have your tenants’ direct payment reduced to recover the overpayment. You cannot recover such a reduction by asking a ‘blameless tenant’ to pay more rent.

The longer a failure to report changes in circumstances goes on, the more serious the effects of repaying the overpayment will be.

You might be committing benefit fraud if you choose not to report a change in circumstances.

Pay back an overpayment

  1. Online here
  2. In person at one of our customer service centres
  3. Over the telephone
  4. By arrangement with us: weekly or monthly standing orders to account number 00369020 sort code 30-96-97, or by monthly Direct Debit on the 1st or 15th of each month.
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