Housing benefit advice for landlords
Tenants and Housing Benefit claims
As a landlord, you are important to us. We aim to work with you to ensure you receive payment of benefit promptly and that overpayments are minimised.
Housing Benefit is a means-tested benefit that helps towards the cost of rent for people who are on a low income. Housing Benefit is paid by the local council directly to the tenant who should then pay this on to you.
Who can claim
Anyone who has to pay rent for their home can claim. It does not matter whether their landlord is the council, a housing association or a private individual or company, they can still claim.
Boarders, lodgers and people in hostels and bed-and-breakfast accommodation can also claim.
We cannot pay Housing Benefit to a tenant who is living with a member of their immediate family and paying them rent.
When should the tenant claim
Your tenant should claim as soon as possible. If they delay in claiming they may lose benefit. We will need to see evidence to support their claim.
If they cannot provide us with the evidence we need at the time they make their claim, they should send the form back to us straight away and send the evidence later to avoid losing benefit.
What evidence must the tenant give when making a claim
We must see original documents, not copies, to support a claim for benefit. For the claimant and any partner we will need to see proof of identity, National Insurance number, income, capital, benefits and rent
If they cannot give us the evidence we need at the time they make their claim, we ask them to send the form to us straight away and send the evidence later. We can start to process a claim as soon as we get the form, but we will not be able to pay any benefit until we have all the evidence we need.
What can a tenant claim for?
If your letting is exempt from local housing allowance, for example housing associations and some lodgers and boarders, then Housing Benefit covers rent and some other charges in accommodation that includes services such as:
- Entry phones
- Play areas
- Management costs
- Cleaning of communal areas
- Warden services
We cannot pay Housing Benefit for:
- Hot water
- Water rates
- Meals (board)
- Personal laundry
- Personal cleaning
If the rent includes charges for any of these, we make a deduction from the rent for them.
Help for your tenant to pay a shortfall.
If you tenant is struggling to pay their rent to you, and already receive benefit, they may be eligible for a discretionary housing payment to help cover the shortfall. Alternatively you can download the discretionary housing payment application form to give to your tenant to complete. Once your tenant has completed the forms they should send it to us at City of Lincoln & North Kesteven District Council Shared Services, Revenues & Benefits Office, PO Box 1257, Lincoln, LN5 5PQ.