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Landlords and Agents

This page gives advice for landlords and agents with tenants who are claiming or thinking of claiming housing benefit. You will find useful information for yourself or your tenant.

The Council likes to work closely with landlords and agents to ensure that the amount of Housing Benefit paid is correct and on time and to prevent evictions.

If you are a landlord or agent and need further advice or information regarding Housing Benefit you further information on the following website pages

Further information can also be found in the documents Information for Landlords and Agents and Local Housing Allowance for Landlords below.

Information for Landlords and Agents (PDF Document, 118.76 Kb)

Local Housing Allowance for Landlords (PDF Document, 307.11 Kb)

Rent arrears

Housing Benefit regulations say that if a tenant has rent arrears of eight weeks or more, we must pay you directly (if we are not already doing so), unless we consider it in the tenant’s best interest not to pay Housing Benefit directly to you.

If your tenant owes you eight weeks rent or more (this can include rent payable in advance) you should write to us, so that we can decide what action to take. You should tell us how much the arrears are and what period they cover.

Landlords and overpayments

If we have paid too much 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
  • Sending an invoice to either you or your tenant

Landlords and appeals

If you or your tenant do not agree with a decision we have made in respect of their claim, you may be able to ask for a reconsideration, or appeal. The appeal rights are different for landlords and tenants.

Landlords can only appeal against our decision relating to:

  • Who we decide to pay Housing Benefit to
  • Who we decide to recover an overpayment from

You cannot appeal about:

  • The amount of Housing Benefit awarded
  • The dates it has been awarded for
  • The rate an overpayment is recovered at

Tenants can ask for a reconsideration of any decision we have made about their claim. We tell them about their appeal rights in letters we send out.

Any appeal or request for reconsideration must be in writing and must be sent within one calendar month of the decision letter. Any appeal must give the reasons why you think our decision is wrong.

We will send you an acknowledgement when your appeal is received. When we have reconsidered your appeal we will write to you with our decision and explain what to do if you still disagree with us.

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 cannot even tell you if they have made a claim.

Disclosing information to landlords

If we pay Housing Benefit to you, we can tell you:

  • The date the benefit starts and ends
  • The weekly amount of benefit and how often it is paid
  • The amount we are taking from the benefit to recover an overpayment
  • Details of any payment paid direct to you

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.

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