How your benefit is paid
Council Tax Reduction
If you qualify for Council Tax reduction this will be paid into your Council Tax account reducing the amount you have to pay. Once your award is worked out we will send you a new Council Tax Bill.
Housing Benefit for council tenants
Your Housing Benefit will be paid directly into your rent account reducing the amount you have to pay. You will be sent details showing the new reduced amount you need to pay towards your rent.
Note: This will not take into account any arrangements you have made to pay off arrears.
Housing Benefit for housing association tenants
We can pay benefit either to you or your landlord - in most cases the choice is yours. However, if you have rent arrears we may be required to pay the benefit direct to your landlord.
Housing Benefit for private tenants
Under the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rules, benefit is paid directly to the tenant, not to the landlord. It is up to the tenant to make sure that the rent is paid to the landlord. This means that:
If your rent is higher than the LHA, you will have to make up the difference.
Paying housing benefit
- Private tenants: you will receive your Housing Benefit every two weeks in arrears.
- Landlords: If we pay your landlord, they will receive Housing Benefit every four weeks in arrears.
Your benefit will be paid directly into your bank or building society account, if you have one. We cannot pay benefit into post office accounts.
Opening a bank or building society account
If you do not already have a bank or building society account, you may want to open one. Most banks now offer a basic bank account.
This means you can arrange to pay the rent to your landlord automatically.
More information, see Citizens Advice Bureau.
Paying Local Housing Allowance to your landlord
Payments direct to landlord
Housing Benefit is usually paid to you. You cannot choose to have your benefit paid direct to your landlord. However, we can pay benefit to your landlord if we decide that you are likely to have difficulty paying your rent.
We can also consider making payments direct to the landlord if it will assist you in securing or retaining a tenancy.
If we do decide to pay benefit to your landlord, we will write to them for further information.
If you are making a new claim and would like us to consider paying benefit directly to you landlord you must tick the box on the Direct Payment to Landlord form and give us as much information and evidence as possible in order for us to make the decision.
If your claim is already in payment you will need to write to us with supporting evidence and explain why you want us to consider paying your landlord.