View Full Version : Housing Benifit, who gets it?

17-04-2006, 19:48 PM
I am about to rent a house to a tennant on housing benifit, should I accept the rent direct from the council or should it go via the tennant? I have heard those stories where the tennant makes fraudulent claims for HB and the council claims it back off the landlord when they find out. Or have the rules changed now?

18-04-2006, 09:40 AM
As landlord your are entitled, if the tenant falls eight weeks into rental arrears, to claim the benefit directly from the Housing Benefit office.

The Housing Benefit may not necessarily be exactly equal to the rent.

Otherwise the benefit will only be paid to the landlord if the tenant agrees that this is done. It is advisable in circumstances such as these to get a signed letter from the tenant giving the Benefits Office authority to discuss with you issues relating to the benefit payments.

If the benefit fraud has been committed by the tenant and the landlord is in no way involved then the Housing Benefit office cannot demand repayment of the rent paid directly to the landlord. (but you may have some hassle proving your case!)

19-04-2006, 17:00 PM
Our council's HB form has a section in it giving the option for the tenant to give permission for HB to talk to landlord, so you may not need a separate letter. I'd suggest you get the HB paid directly to you, but bear in mind that it is usually paid in arrears.

19-04-2006, 21:37 PM
I prefer HB tenants and usually have HB paid direct to me but if the tenant is working or in and out of work it is probably best to have it paid to the tenant. The reason is that since the tenant is responsible for the rent, (HB is NOT rent) if working, the amount of HB they receive is low or it varies with income variations. Let the tenant have the hassle of dealing with this.

21-04-2006, 17:03 PM
Thanks for all your help. I have decided to have the rent directly from my tenant because she could get occasional part time work here during the summer it being in a holiday town. She has signed a bank standing order so i should know faily soon if she defaults! Thanks