My tenant is claiming housing benefit
If you are a private landlord it is expected that you will keep a proper record of rent that is due and payments made by your tenant. As a landlord, you must provide your tenant with a confirmation of rent so that they can claim housing benefit, if they need to.
The government has set standards to help prevent fraud and to make sure that people receive the correct amounts of money that they are entitled to. Because of this, all documents that your tenant will need to provide, if they claim housing benefit, must be original and not photocopies.
The following documents are acceptable as proof of rent:
- Current tenancy agreement
- Letter from the landlord or letting agent
Please ensure that the evidence includes the following:
- Full name and address of the landlord
- Full name and business address of the agent (if applicable)
- The date the agreement started
- The amount of rent charged and whether the rent includes any services (heating, water rates, council tax)
How much will my tenant be awarded and how will this be paid?
Tenants could receive housing benefit for up to 100% of their rent; the minimum amount of housing benefit they can receive is £0.50 per week.
Please note that tenants in social housing may not be able to get up to 100% of their rent paid for if they are under occupying their property.
We will send your tenant a notification letter explaining our decision, the amount that they are entitled to and how we have worked this out. If they would like the benefit paid direct to you and we are able to do this, we will also send you a notification letter stating the amount of money we will pay you for your tenant and when.
If tenants are renting in the private sector and are entitled to benefit, it is usually paid in arrears.
Payment is normally made either:
- Fortnightly in arrears directly to the tenant's bank account, using the bank automated credit system (BACS)
- Four weekly in arrears directly to you (the landlord's) bank account using the bank automated credit system (BACS) *If you would like a tenant's benefit to be paid into your bank account, please see how to get your tenant's benefit paid into your bank account
Please note that we can only pay you (the landlord) if your tenant is not receiving local housing allowance or universal credit, or they are classed as 'vulnerable' under the safeguard policy. Please contact us on the details below for more information.
For council tenants, benefit payments will go straight into their housing rent account.
Claims are assessed usually within 14 days of receipt of the last document that we require to assess their benefit.
If you are paid your tenants' benefit directly, you can register for 'my benefits', an online service which allows you to:
- See details of housing benefit awards and overpayments
- See what payments have been made and when the next payment is due
- Download payment schedules in Excel.CSV or XML formats
- View correspondence and get e-notifications
Last updated: 20/10/2022, 15:47