How much Housing Benefit will be paid?
For most private tenants, Housing Benefit is paid as a local housing allowance. This means that the maximum Housing Benefit that your tenant can get will depend on who lives in the property, and where it is. Local Housing Allowance rates are set by the Valuation Office Agency (link opens in new window) (VOA), based on market rent information.
Your tenant may not get the maximum amount of benefit. We will look at their income and household circumstances to work out how much they can get.
Housing Benefit will normally be paid to the tenant, and they cannot insist that payments are made to their landlord. However, in some circumstances we can pay directly to the landlord instead, such as:
- your tenant is vulnerable or unable to manage their financial affairs
- direct payments will help your tenant to secure or retain their tenancy
- we think that they are unlikely to pay their rent
- we have paid you in the past because of rent arrears
- previous rent arrears are being paid by deductions from their benefits
If you would like payments to be made directly to you because of any of the above reasons, please tell us in writing. You can download a Direct Payment to Landlord (PDF 57.7KB) form to make sure you give us the details we need.
If your tenant is more than 8 weeks in arrears, we must normally start paying their Housing Benefit directly to you. You or your tenant will need to tell us about the arrears, and we will need proof, such as an up-to-date rent statement.
Your tenant does not have to agree to us paying benefit directly to you if they are more than 8 weeks in rent arrears.
Tel: 0300 300 8306
Please quote your tenant’s benefit claim reference if you know it – your tenant’s claim reference is either an 8 digit number starting with 900, or a 5 digit number. You can find it on any letter we’ve sent about your tenant’s Housing Benefit or on your regular Landlord Payment Schedules.