Information about Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction

Changes in Circumstance, Overpayments and Appeals

If you get Housing Benefit directly on behalf of your tenant, you must tell us if you know of any changes in your tenant's circumstances that will affect whether they qualify for benefit.

Overpayment of Housing Benefit must be repaid. There is also a chance of prosecution if you accept Housing Benefit knowing that you are not entitled to it.

Below is a list of changes you should tell us about.

  • If your tenant starts work or changes/loses their job.
  • If there is a change to your tenant's household (e.g. they have a baby or a partner moves out)..
  • If your tenant moves (this includes into a different flat within the same building).
  • If your tenant goes into a rest home or hospital.

Once you have told us about the change we will contact your tenant for more detailed information, such as the date the change occurred. We may tell your tenant that they need a new application form.

We may need to suspend a benefit claim due to a change in circumstance. As long as we have the tenants permission to share information with their landlord we will tell you in writing when their case has been suspended.

Overpayment Information

There are many ways we can recover the overpayment of benefit. These are as follows.

  • We can take money from your tenant's ongoing benefit. We can do this even if the overpayment happened at another address. The tenant must pay the difference to make up the rent they owe you.
  • We can take money off other benefit that we owe your tenant.
  • We can take money off your payments for other tenants.

Landlord Appeal Rights

A landlord can appeal against:

  • a decision regarding Housing Benefit being paid to yourself
  • a decision regarding whether we should pay payment directly to you or the tenant in cases of vulnerability, arrears or unlikely payers
  • whether the overpayment we are recovering from you is for the correct period and amount.

Page last updated: 27/03/2017