Information for landlords
The rest of this page explains how Housing Benefit is calculated, what information the tenant will be asked for and what information you will need to provide so that an assessment of the level of Housing Benefit payable can be made.
The information on this page is for guidance only. It does not cover all the rules for all the benefits for every situation, nor does it provide a full interpretation of the rules. It should not be treated as a complete and authoritative statement of the law.
The website Understanding Universal Credit has been designed to help you understand what Universal Credit means for you. There is a section on Universal Credit and landlords which includes a downloadable top tips for landlords summary, a video and in depth information and guidance.
If your tenants are not in receipt of Universal Credit
If you are renting out property, you may have tenants entitled to help towards paying their rent. Should a tenant make a claim for this help they will normally ask you for some simple information about the tenancy.
Housing Benefit is a government scheme administered by us that gives help towards housing costs for pensioners and certain people on a low income.
How is a claim made?
Please see new claims for Housing Benefit, claimants can also contact the Hub on 01562 732928.
A tenant does not need to tell you that they have claimed benefit. We can only discuss a benefit claim with a landlord if the tenant has given his or her permission in writing for this to be done.
In addition to proof of income, every applicant for Housing Benefit must provide the following details:
- date the tenancy started
- date the tenant moved in
- rent charged
- number of rooms in the property
- rooms occupied by the tenant
- the name and address of the landlord; and
- a tenancy agreement or a letter from the landlord which should show the date the tenancy began, the amount of rent charged and any services included in the rent (such as heating, meals etc)
How much Housing Benefit will be paid?
Housing Benefit is only paid on eligible rent. This does not include services such as water rates, fuel costs or meals. Most claims for Housing Benefit are now assessed using the rules relating to Local Housing Allowance. Some people are entitled to their full eligible rent, others receive only part of the eligible rent - the assessment is income based.
Rent charged monthly
Housing Benefit is always paid on a four-week cycle. If a calendar monthly rent is charged, the appropriate weekly rent will be calculated and then paid on the usual four-week cycle.
Rent charged = £350.00 per calendar month, x 12 (months) = £4,200.00 per year, ÷ 365 (days) = £11.506 per day, x 7 (days) = £80.55 per week.
So, if a tenant is entitled to full Housing Benefit they would expect to receive £322.20 every four weeks, which is 4 x £80.55 weekly rent.
How is Housing Benefit paid?
Housing Benefit is paid every 4 weeks, in most cases 4 weeks in arrears, and is paid to the tenant unless a rent direct form is completed, in which case the benefit will be paid to the landlord. Payment is made by BACS wherever possible as opposed to crossed cheque.
If the Housing Benefit is paid to you as the landlord you will also receive a schedule showing which tenants' housing benefit are included in the BACS payment and how much benefit is in respect of each tenant.
How long is Housing Benefit paid for?
Benefit will continue as long as there is entitlement and providing any claim review form sent to the tenant is returned on time. Housing Benefit is only paid while a tenant lives in the property. Entitlement to benefit ends as soon as a tenant leaves the property. This condition also applies if a tenant dies, as entitlement ends on date of death.
Entitlement may continue during a temporary absence from home. If a tenant moves out or dies and you have been paid Housing Benefit beyond your tenant's change of address or death, then you will have been overpaid. You will have to repay this money.
There may be times when the Housing Benefit Section finds out a tenant has left before you do. Housing Benefit will still end on the date the tenant is known to have left - any further rent due is a matter for you to pursue with your tenant.
- Accurate information about the tenancy details including the start date, rent charged and any services provided
- Prompt information regarding tenants moving out
- Recognition by the landlord that the tenancy agreement is with the tenant. If there are difficulties with payment of rent, the landlord's first point of contact is the tenant
- Prompt repayment of overpaid Housing Benefit