How your tenant can apply, information on payments, and how much we can tell you about a claim
How your tenant can claim
A tenant can claim using our online claim form. They can also use our online benefits calculator to check if they're entitled before applying.
What happens next?
Your tenant will receive a letter confirming if they're entitled to Housing Benefit. In the letter, we will confirm:
- the amount of benefit they will receive
- the date of their first payment
If you receive payments, we’ll also send you a letter confirming these details.
How we pay Housing Benefit
How we pay Housing Benefit is outlined below.
If we pay your tenant
We pay Housing Benefit into your tenant’s bank account every four weeks in arrears. They are responsible for passing this money over to you.
If there is a shortfall between the rent you charge and the Housing Benefit we pay, your tenant is responsible for paying the difference to you.
Direct payments to landlords
We may consider making direct payments to you if your tenant falls behind with their rent payments. If your tenant is more than eight weeks behind with their rent please complete our direct payments form. Proof of their arrears will be required.
When we receive a request for direct payments due to rent arrears, we will do the following:
- suspend the tenants claim (this is when we put a hold on making payments)
- contact the tenant to ask them to pay their rent arrears
- if they are unable to explain why there are rent arrears or clear the arrears we then consider paying you directly
- we will send you a ‘third party form’ asking for your bank details so we can begin paying you
In most cases, we can pay Housing Benefit directly to a housing association if requested. We pay this every four weeks in arrears.
Tenants who are vulnerable
If you feel that sending direct payments to a tenant would cause them, or you, serious problems we may consider paying you instead.
Valid reasons we would consider:
- the tenant has learning disabilities
- the tenant has a serious medical condition or mental health problem
- the tenant is dealing with addiction to drugs, alcohol or gambling
- the tenant has severe debt problems
- the tenant is unable to open a bank account
You or your tenant must complete a vulnerability form and will need to provide evidence to support their request. You will then be required to complete a “third party” form as detailed above.
Changes in circumstance
If your tenant has a change of circumstances this may affect their claim. If you are receiving direct payments you must notify us of any change that you know of. You can use our change of circumstances form to report a change. For further information please see our change in circumstances page.
If there has been a change that may affect your tenants Housing Benefit, we usually suspend the claim. This will stop making payments while we look into the change. We'll contact your tenant advising them of the suspension, and requesting any information we need.
Once we have made a decision on the claim we'll contact your tenant again to confirm when any payments will be made. If you are awarded direct payments, you'll be advised of our decision.
What we can tell you about your tenant's claim
If a tenant has given us permission to discuss their claim, we can tell you:
- whether they have claimed
- if we have made a decision on their claim
- if we need further information
If we make payments to you, we can also discuss payment amounts and dates.
What we can't tell you:
- their personal information
- their household circumstances
- their financial circumstances