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You can ask about your tenant's benefit claim if they have agreed that we can share information with you.

You must tell us the following information when you call about their claim:

  • 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.

We can discuss only the following with you:

  • that your tenant has claimed or renewed their claim for Housing Benefit, that we have received the form, and the date on which we received it
  • that we have made a decision on your tenant's claim and whether they are entitled to benefit – we cannot give reasons or how we calculated it
  • that we have made a payment to your tenant and the dates of entitlement – we cannot tell you the amount or how we calculated it
  • that we need more information to make a decision on your tenant's claim – we can tell you the general information we need, but we cannot tell you any specific details we have requested.
  • whether the claim is subject to a full case review and if the review has been completed
  • the reason why we have suspended a claim (for example, if the tenant is no longer entitled to receive benefits, we can tell you that we believe their circumstances have changed and we have written to them to clarify the situation)
  • the reason why we have cancelled a claim (for example, if the tenant has not given us information we have requested, although we cannot disclose the specifics).

Receiving benefits payments

If your tenant is receiving Local Housing Allowance, it will generally be paid directly to them unless they are protected by the safeguard policy. Examples of when we use the safeguard policy are:

  • vulnerability
  • arrears of eight weeks or more
  • the tenant cannot open a bank account
  • the tenant has a history of debt problems
  • the tenant has a history of not paying their rent

You must provide evidence for at least one of these if you ask us to make payments directly to you.

Read the government’s safeguarding policy

If your tenant is claiming Housing Benefit, we will pay it as the tenant originally agreed with us. There are three options:

  • directly to the landlord (known as direct payment) - you must have a valid landlord code for this
  • to the tenant by cheque
  • to the tenant by BACS (bank transfer).

Direct payments for more than one tenant

We only send you one payment or receipt, even if you're receiving direct payments for Housing Benefit for more than one tenant.

We always include a schedule with the payment or receipt. This shows the dates and the amount of benefit we are paying for each tenant.

We will not send you any payment information if we are paying benefit directly to your tenants.

Overpayment of direct payments

We will recover any overpaid direct payments from you.

You must tell us as soon as you receive any overpayments to stop us taking any action against you.

We may invoice you for any overpayments or deduct them from future benefit payments.

The landlord portal

You may find our landlord portal useful if you receive direct payments for housing benefits or discretionary housing payments.

Read about our landlord portal

Contact the Benefit Service

Telephone us: 0121 464 7000

Email us:

Page last updated: 7 February 2023

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