Housing benefit information for landlords

Most tenants renting from private landlords have their housing benefit assessed under Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rules.

Under these LHA rules, we normally pay your tenant's housing benefit to them.

We will usually pay housing benefit directly to you if:

  • Jobcentre Plus is paying part of your tenant's Income Support or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance to you because the tenant is behind with their rent and we know about this
  • we have proof that your tenant is eight weeks or more behind with their rent
  • you give us proof that your tenant has left owing you rent arrears, and there is some housing benefit due up to the date they left
  • you set or reduce the rent to an affordable level so that the tenant can live there and the tenant requests payment to you

We treat all rents set or reduced to the LHA rate as affordable, but we may stop payments to you if you later increase the rent to an unaffordable level. A rent charge higher than the LHA is classed as not affordable when a customer has to pay the excess from their own income.

We can also make payments directly to you if we feel your tenant meets one of our safeguard provisions. See see our Local Housing Allowance Safeguard Policy and the form to Request for Housing Benefit to be paid to a landlord Once completed please email the form to Housing.Benefits@doncaster.gov.uk.

LHA Landlord Fact Sheet
Download (185KB - PDF)

Direct payments

We aim to work with landlords who receive direct payments of housing benefit to ensure payments promptly and to minimise overpayments.

If we pay housing benefit to you, we will write and tell you how much we will pay you and the date we have paid benefit from. We will also write and tell you when the award is changed or stopped. If we have stopped your tenant's benefit, we will give you as much information as the law allows about why their benefit has been stopped.

When we do pay housing benefit directly to landlords, we do so byBACS, so we will need your bank details:

BACS Request - Landlord
Download (33KB - PDF)

Information

It is a criminal offence for a member of staff to disclose personal information to a third party about someone claiming housing benefit without that person's consent.

Your tenant can give us permission to discuss the progress of their claim with you by completing the section 'sharing information with your landlord' on the benefit claim form Your tenant can also send us a letter giving their permission, make a statement at our office or complete the sharing information agreement. 

Sharing Information Agreement
Download (46KB - PDF)

If your tenant has given their permission, we will tell you that they have claimed benefit and whether or not we have dealt with the claim. If we cannot deal with the claim because we need information from you, such as rent proof, we will tell you this. But, we cannot let you have any information which we think your tenant would not want us to give. This includes details of their income and savings, or their forwarding address if they have moved.

Before we give you any information, we will ask you for your unique landlord number. This number is shown on any letters we send you about your tenant's benefit.

The law allows us to share information with other departments and organisations to:

  • check the accuracy of information
  • prevent or detect crime
  • protect public funds in other ways

We have to give information to Revenue and Customs about housing benefit we pay to you.

Telling us about changes in your tenant's circumstances

If you find out about any change that might affect your tenant's housing benefit, you must tell us straight away. For example:

  • your tenant moves out
  • your tenant's rent changes
  • anyone moves in or out of your tenant's home
  • your tenant goes into hospital
  • you find out that your tenant has a change in their income

Landlords also have an important role to play in our fight against benefit fraud. If you write and tell us that you suspect your tenant is committing benefit fraud, and we later prove this, we will not ask you to pay back any overpaid housing benefit. We must be satisfied that you did not contribute to the overpayment, or collude with your tenant in any way to cause the overpayment.

Paying back amounts overpaid

If we pay you too much housing benefit, we will write to you about this. We would appreciate it if you would pay the money back to us quickly. If you do not, we have the right to take the money you owe from any future payments we make to you for any of your tenants.

Where you dispute repayment of an overpayment due to the tenant leaving please complete the attached form.

Overpayment form
Download (100KB - PDF)

For further information, please contact us:

Last updated: 05 September 2019 08:50:34