Information about Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction

Preventing Evictions and Missing Payments

We aim to deal with all new claims for Housing Benefit promptly.

Delays can happen if we are waiting for information or documents from the tenant. As we do not backdate Housing Benefit unless your tenant can show 'good cause' throughout the period for not claiming, it is important that you help your tenant get their claim to us quickly.

If you haven't received a Housing Benefit payment on behalf of your tenant after 8 weeks and rent arrears are building up, please contact us with details before you take action against the tenant. We will check the case and pay Housing Benefit as soon as possible so that the tenancy is not put at risk.

If you tell us your tenant owes you 8 weeks' rent or more and your tenant does not dispute this, we will make payments directly to you. Your request must be in writing with relevant proof showing the 8 weeks of arrears.

What can I do if my tenant misses a payment?

If a tenant misses one payment you should tell us immediately so we can investigate. This is to avoid the claim reaching 8 weeks arrears if possible.

Note: The claim can only be amended to payment to the landlord once the 8 weeks have been reached or if the claimant has been identified as an unlikely payer or classed as 'vulnerable'.

Once we have been told about a missed payment, we take the following steps.

  • Send a letter to the claimant telling them that you have told us that they have missed a payment and what can happen if they continue to miss payments.
  • A letter will be sent to you as the landlord. This is to tell you of the actions that we have carried out.
  • If the situation does not then change at the point of 8 weeks arrears, the payments will then be paid directly to the landlord.
  • The case will be closely monitored and reviewed. As soon as the arrears have been cleared the payments will then be paid to the claimant once again.

In some case we may not pay you directly if we decide that it would not be in your tenant's best interests.

Page last updated: 27/03/2017