Some tenants may struggle with the responsibility for paying their rent to private landlords. In such cases, at our discretion, we can decide to make payments direct to landlords in the following circumstances:
- If we consider the tenant is likely to have difficulty managing his or her own affairs. Vulnerabilities behind this could include having a learning disorder or a drug or alcohol problem. Our Local Housing Allowance (LHA) Vulnerability Policy sets out the guidelines we follow in these cases.
- If we believe the tenant is unlikely to use their LHA to pay their rent, because we know they have previously failed to do so when their LHA has been backdated, or there has been a delay in processing a claim and a large amount of benefit is due to be paid. We may decide to make the first payment direct to the landlord.
- If the tenant has built up rent arrears of eight weeks or more and payment direct to the landlord is implemented under housing benefit regulations. We can decide to continue making payments direct to the landlord, even after the arrears have fallen below eight weeks.
- If the tenant is having deductions taken from their Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance to pay off rent arrears.
- If your tenant is receiving Universal Credit, you will need to contact Universal Credit regarding rent arrears issues.
- More information is available at Universal Credit for Landlords.
To implement any of these we must have documented evidence to support our decision.
Find out more about Discretionary payments.
Find out more about our Vulnerability policy.
We have a portal for landlords which shows housing benefit payment details for your tenants. If you have not signed up to use this, please contact us with your name, contact email address and telephone number.