How Local Housing Allowance is paid
We will usually pay you so that you can pay your landlord by whatever method suits you and your landlord best.
We can only pay your LHA into your bank account and we cannot pay into a post-office card account. We make payments in arrears (at the end of the period they are for). We can pay you every four weeks or every two weeks.
You cannot choose to have your rent paid direct to your landlord just because you prefer it or it's more convenient.
You will need to open a bank account if you do not already have one. Many banks now provide basic bank accounts if you don't already have a current account. A basic bank account gives access to limited banking facilities - you can receive money and pay bills. You can take money out with a cash card at cash machines (this is usually free but some cash machines make a charge) and at the Post Office. You don't get a cheque book, debit card or credit card and you can't go overdrawn because you won't get an overdraft limit.
When you open an account, the bank will need to see proof of your identity. Ask them which documents they need for this. Some banks can open an account with you at a local branch interview, on that day, but some send the information to a processing centre and may not make a decision straightaway. If you apply to a bank that opens your account in the branch, you will be able to get your documents checked and find out your account number and sort code more quickly.
The Money Advice Service 'Basic Bank Account' guide gives detailed advice about these accounts. Their leaflet 'Proving your identity' has more information on the proof you need to open an account. You can also get advice about what accounts are available from high-street banks and building societies or from welfare organisations like Citizens Advice .