The Housing Benefits guide
for Landlords aims to help you if you are renting
your property or rooms out to someone who has claimed or is about
to claim Housing Benefit.
How can my tenant
claim Housing Benefit?
Your tenant can claim benefit either at the
Council Offices by completing a claim form or if he is about to
claim, Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance or Incapacity Benefit,
he can claim over the phone with Jobcentre Plus by phoning 0845 600
We will need to see proof of his/her rent, as
well as proof of identity and National Insurance Number for
both the claimant and their partner (if they have one). This
includes civil partners of the same sex.
Your tenant may ask you to provide a detailed
breakdown of his/her rent if it includes other things like Council
Tax or services. Our forms also ask the tenant to give us
permission to talk to their landlord about their claim. Without
this, we will be unable to give you any information about it.
How long will a new claim
On average, we process new claims within 22
days of the claim form being returned. This includes the time when
we sometimes have to request further information from your tenant
or if we are waiting for confirmation of the eligible rent figure
from the rent officer service. Once all the information is
received, we will make a payment within fourteen days.
How will I be
notified of any benefit being paid?
You will only receive notification of the amount
of benefit to be paid and from when, if the payment itself is to be
made direct to you. If we are paying your tenant direct, you will
not receive notifications. If you are the payee, you will also be
notified of any changes to the benefit amount and if benefit ends.
This notification will include details of any overpayments that
have been made and from whom we will recover these.
The role of the Rent
The Rent Officer Service has a part to play in
the Housing Benefit claim in working out the maximum rent we can
The Rent Officer is an independent service based
5 Victoria Court
Telephone : (0115) 8532120
More information is available on The Rent
From April 2008, there are changes to
legislation which replaces the Rent Allowance scheme for
certain types of tenancy to the new Local Housing
Allowance. Please see the Local Housing Allowance page for
more details about this.
The LHA-direct pages of the Rent Service
website has details about Broad Rental Market Areas, including
maps. It also has a postcode search facility and a room calculator
to help you or your tenant work out what the LHA rate for your
property is at the time the claim starts.
How will Housing Benefit be paid?
We will normally pay new LHA
claims by direct credit (BACS) directly into your
tenant's bank account. If you were paid direct under
the old scheme prior to April 2008, this will continue. The
first payment may include any back pay due. In some cases we can
pay you without the tenant's authorisation, for example, if you
show us evidence of 8 weeks or more worth of arrears. There
are other exceptional cases where we may also pay the landlord
direct for example where the tenant is vulnerable. Please contact
us if you think this is the case.
If you are currently receiving Housing Benefits
by cheque and would like your payments to go directly into your
bank account, you can change over easily by completing a BACS form with your bank
details and sending it to:
The Benefits Unit, Queens Buildings, Potter
Street, Worksop, Notts, S80 2AH.
If you would like us to send you a form, please
telephone us on 01777 713855 or 01909 533710 or 01909 533287,
or email us at email@example.com.
What if I am overpaid?
Overpayments occur when your tenant has a change
of circumstances that affect the amount of Housing Benefit they are
The Council's first consideration in deciding
from whom to recover an overpayment is who has contributed to
the overpayment occurring and whether there has been any failure on
the part of the tenant or the landlord in notifying us of a change
If the overpayment is deemed recoverable from
you, you will be notified about the method of recovery. Usually
this would be by reducing future payments made to you, even if they
are in respect of different tenants. When this happens, you must
still credit the "blameless tenant's" rent account as if their
Housing Benefit had been paid in full.
If you have stopped getting any payments after an
overpayment has occurred, we would send an invoice to the person we
are seeking recovery from. There is a delay of one month from
the date the overpayment occurs to allow time for you to make an
appeal if you do not agree with our decision to recover an
overpayment from you.
Last Updated - 03/04/2013