Landlords receiving Housing Benefit payments
If you are a landlord receiving payments of Housing Benefit you can now use the Citizens Access Landlord Portal for instant access to payment information and current claim status and to check elements of your tenant's claim.
You can also access electronic copies of your payment schedules and notification letters; these will no longer be sent by post.
Under the Data Protection Act, we will only share information with private landlords regarding a Housing Benefit claim if we have permission from the claimant.
There is a declaration on our claim forms which must be completed by the claimant in order for us to share information with a landlord or third party.
Sharing information can help us deal with a claim quicker and reduce the chance of rent arrears. We may contact you and ask for information regarding a tenancy so that we can make a decision on a claim for benefit.
We do not share information about personal or financial circumstances with landlords.
Recovery of an overpayment of Housing Benefit from a landlord may be necessary if we believe that the landlord or their agent should have been aware of the circumstances which lead to the overpayment.
If you do not agree with our decision to ask you to repay an overpayment, you can ask us to look at our decision again. Details will be provided on the overpayment notification letter that we send to you. It is important that you write to us within one calendar month of the date of the notification if you do not agree with our decision.
Tenants in arrears
There are a range of existing safeguards in place to protect the interests of landlords and their agents under the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) scheme. We must make payment directly to the landlord or their agent where a tenant is eight weeks or more in arrears with their rent and that it is in the interest of the claimant (tenant) to do so.
Under the LHA scheme we also have the discretion to pay the landlord or agent directly if we consider that it is in the interest of the claimant to do so and that:
- The claimant is 'likely to have difficulties managing their financial affairs' or
- It is unlikely that the claimant will pay their rent
When reaching a decision on making direct payments under any of these provisions, we also have to consider if the landlord or agent is 'a fit and proper person' to receive direct payments.
If you need to tell us about a tenant in arrears contact the Benefits Service.