Benefit payment advice for landlords

Rent arrears

If you have a tenant who is in receipt of or has claimed Housing Benefit (HB) or Local Housing Allowance (LHA) and who is in arrears, in the first instance you should speak directly to your tenant and try to agree payment terms. If your tenant is experiencing financial difficulties, you should advise them to contact the Benefit Service directly on 0121 464 7000.

If, after having spoken to them, your tenant remains in arrears of 8 weeks or more, you should contact us by email or in writing (see details at the bottom of this page) so we can consider paying you directly. You will need to provide the following information when you contact us:

  • Landlord code
  • Full name and address
  • Tenant’s full name and address
  • Weekly rent payable
  • Amount of arrears
  • Date court action planned/started
  • Your preferred method of contact and the appropriate details.

Tenant claim and payment status

As a landlord, we can only share information regarding your tenant’s claim if they have given their permission and you can provide the following information when you contact us:

  • Your name and/or company name
  • Your address and/or company address
  • Your tenant’s name and address
  • Your landlord code (if you have one).

If the claimant has given permission, we can tell you

  • If they have claimed or renewed their claim for HB/LHA – if we have received a form and the date we received it
  • If we have made a decision on the claim – we can tell you if they are entitled to benefit, but if they are not, we cannot give you the reasons
  • If we have made a payment to your tenant – when the payment was made and the dates it covers
  • If we need more information in order make a decision on the claim – we can tell you that we have written to the claimant asking for this information, but we cannot tell you what we have asked for.

Please remember that HB/LHA is a means tested benefit and your tenant may therefore not be entitled to benefit covering the full rent.

If a tenant has left your property but you are still receiving payment, you must let us know as soon as possible in order to prevent overpayments. You can either email us or you can write to us (see details at the foot of this page).

If we make a decision on a claim and you disagree with it, as a landlord you have no right of appeal. This is because the decision is made on the tenant’s claim and it would be up to them to appeal.

Overpayments

Sometimes a tenant may receive HB/LHA overpayments. If we decide that the landlord is responsible for causing the overpayment (for example, where a tenant has moved out), then we can recover that overpayment from the landlord. This can be done either by deduction from HB/LHA the landlord receives for other tenants, or where this is not possible, by invoice.

We will write to you and let you know if this happens.

If we have sent you an invoice and you cannot afford the balance, please contact us on 0121 464 8248 to make a payment arrangement.

Landlords’ Forum and Accommodate Newsletter

Meetings are held quarterly. The Landlords’ Forum looks to aid, inform and guide private landlords in Birmingham, as well as giving them a platform to discuss issues that affect them directly.

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