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How to claim help with your rent and council tax

Local housing allowance - paying benefit to a landlord

In most situations, we normally pay local housing allowance (LHA) direct to the tenant, every 4 weeks in arrears.

The tenant will have to arrange to pay their landlord.  The Council will not talk to the landlord about a claim unless the claimant has given written permission to do so.

Payment to landlords

We can pay benefit direct to the landlord if the tenant is unable to take responsibility for receiving their own benefit payments and making payments of rent to their landlord.

This will only happen if there are reasons to do so, such as serious illness and where the tenant finds it difficult to manage their finances. This may be where the tenant is either considered to be 'vulnerable' or they owe rent arrears of 8 weeks or more (see below).

If you, or someone you support, claims benefit and you are worried about this responsibility, then you or your representative should read the Direct Payment Policy. If it is felt that the criteria for applying for direct payments is met, the direct payment application form should be completed and submitted - both documents are located within the download area.

If you have any other questions you can contact us.

Rent arrears

If a tenant is in arrears with their rent by 8 weeks or more the landlord has the right to ask us for direct payments of housing benefit.  If this is agreed then we would confirm to the landlord the amount of benefit they are entitled to.

We need to see evidence of the arrears from the landlord before we can change who the benefit is paid to - for example a rent account statement.

We recommend that you tell us before reaching the 8 weeks arrears so we can take action immediately.

If you are a tenant and in arrears with your rent and need other help and advice then you can read more on our website or go to the DirectGov website for more information.

Additional help with rent can also be claimed by way of a discretionary housing payment.

More information for landlords

You can get more advice and information on this website and also download a landlord information pack.

More information for tenants

A tenant information pack is also available for tenants.