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Housing Benefit information for landlords

What can the Council tell a landlord about a tenant's benefit claim?

The amount of information that can be given out depends on whether the landlord or tenant is to receive the benefit payments.

Payments to tenant

All details concerning a tenant's claim are confidential and cannot be disclosed to a third party in any circumstances. This includes confirming that a claim has been made.

Payments direct to landlord

Where the tenant has authorised benefit to be paid direct to the landlord the following information can be disclosed:

  • The dates on which entitlement started and ended.
  • The weekly amount of benefit entitlement, amounts paid, and dates of payment.
  • Where the tenant has asked that benefit is paid direct to his landlord the landlord will always be informed in writing when:
  1. A determination of a tenant's Housing Benefit is made
  2. A tenant's entitlement ends due to a change in circumstances.
  3. A tenant's entitlement ends due to a change in address
  4. A tenant's claim is suspended.

Note: The responsibility for supplying proof of income and liability for rent rests solely with the tenant.

Can a landlord insist that they receive benefit payments?

The Housing Benefit Regulations state that a tenant is entitled to have payments made direct to them. Payment can only be made to a landlord subject to the tenant's written authorisation. However, where the tenant owes more than 8 weeks rent arrears, the landlord can write to the Council and ask that future benefit payments be made direct to them.

Where payments are to be made directly to the landlord the Council will send a form to the landlord asking the landlord to accept that overpayments may be recovered from them and agreeing to notify any changes to the tenant's circumstances they know about.

Will housing benefit pay off rent arrears owed when a tenant leaves?

A landlord is legally required to tell the Council as soon as they are aware that a tenant in receipt of benefit has left. If there are any rent arrears, full written details of the amount owed and how the debt arose are required, as well as confirming the date the tenant moved out. The final benefit payment would normally be paid up to the following Sunday, but it may be earlier depending on the circumstances. Benefit may not be payable for a period where a tenant has left without giving notice to their landlord, nor where the tenant has claimed benefit at another address but has failed to notify their previous landlord.

Important notes

The Council deals solely with a tenant's entitlement to Housing Benefit. Rent that is due and payable under the terms of a tenancy is a matter between the landlord and the tenant. The tenant retains full liability for rent, and for paying the landlord any sums owed during the course of the tenancy.

Benefit may not be payable for a period where a tenant has left without giving notice to their landlord, nor where the tenant has claimed benefit at another address but has failed to notify their previous landlord.

The Valuation Office Agency needs your help

If you have any properties that you rent out, the Valuation Office Agency would like to hear from you; please read the Master contact letter below for more information.  A pro-forma to supply the Valuation Office Agency with details of your properties can also be found below.

 

Downloadable Documents

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File nameSizeApproximate Download time
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerValuation Office Agency master contact letter in PDF format31 Kb4 secs @ 56k, 0 secs @ 2mb
Microsoft Excel formatValuation Office Agency letting information pro-forma in Excel format96 Kb14 secs @ 56k, 0 secs @ 2mb
Microsoft Word formatValuation Office Agency master contact letter in Word format100 Kb14 secs @ 56k, 0 secs @ 2mb

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0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ