Benefits and support Housing Benefit and Universal Credit information for landlords

When we pay your tenant’s Housing Benefit direct to you

We can pay it direct to you if:

  • your tenant wants us to; and
  • you want us to; and
  • their claim does not come under the Local Housing Allowance rules.

They can also ask us to stop paying you direct. We will write and tell you if this happens.

We must pay you direct if your tenant owes eight weeks’ rent or more, unless we think it’s not in their best interests. If so we can temporarily stop paying altogether. Contact us online or in writing if your tenant has arrears of more than eight weeks.

Contact us to request direct payments at

When we are satisfied that there is less than eight weeks rent owing we can start paying your tenant again.

How we make direct payments:

  • We can pay straight into your bank or building society account.
  • We pay every four weeks for the four weeks that have just passed.
  • If you have several tenants on benefit, we combine all payments into one payment. We send you a list of payment details for each tenant.

We do not take on your tenant's responsibilities because we pay you direct.

Your responsibilities:

  • You must tell us about changes, for example, if your tenant moves out.
  • You must repay overpayments promptly.

We won’t pay you direct if we decide you are not acting properly, including being involved in benefit fraud.

If you don't agree with our decision on direct payments

You can appeal if we refuse to pay Housing Benefit direct to you, but you must have requested direct payments yourself. You cannot appeal if your tenant asked for direct payments and we refused.

The letter we send to tell you the decision will also say how you can appeal.

If we send the cheque to the tenant but made it payable to you

We sometimes do this when the first payment to the tenant is particularly large. This is to help make sure the cheque is used to clear any rent arrears there might be.

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