Information for Landlords
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Information for Landlords

The type of Housing Benefit a private tenant can claim is known as Local Housing Allowance (LHA).



Who can get Local Housing Allowance?

Tenants who live in the Leeds area and have a low income may be able to claim LHA. Tenants cannot claim if they have savings over £16,000, unless they receive the Guarantee Credit part of Pension Credit. There are also special rules for full time students and people who have lived abroad.

Full information regarding LHA, including details of the current rates and how LHA is calculated can be found on the Local Housing Allowance page.

We aim to process claims for Housing Benefit within 3 weeks of receipt. If you know that your tenant has submitted a claim for Housing Benefit and have not heard anything after 3 weeks, you may wish to consider contacting your tenant to check if they have received notification of their award or provided the information we need to process their claim.

Payments are made four weekly in arrears on a set payment date (PDF 13KB). We will not pay landlords fortnightly or weekly.


View your tenant’s payments Online

If you receive Housing Benefit payments direct you can view certain details about your tenant’s Housing Benefit claim online.

To register for online access you will need an email address and your landlord creditor reference (this can be found at the top of any notification letters).

Once registered, you will need to request a PIN number for this service. Once you request it online, this will automatically be posted to you at your address within 5 working days. If you have more than one creditor number, you will need to request a PIN for each number.

If you use a council self-serve machine at any of our Council One Stop Centres, a trained staff member will be able to issue the PIN as soon as you are set up. In addition, you can call 0113 2224404 and we will assist you with your online access.




Online access has many benefits:

  • It’s free and easy to use
  • Instant access to information
  • Available 24/7
  • Ability to check individual claims including next payment due
  • Ability to check deductions due to overpayments
  • No delays in receiving payment schedules
  • Ability to download payment schedules into excel/CSV/XML
  • Ability to download overpayment information into excel/CSV/XML

View our Registration guide (PDF 63KB) and navigation guide (PDF 283KB) for more information on how to to register and use the online service. You can also view our guidance video on Youtube.

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Click to expandDoes everyone get the full amount of rent?

No, the maximum that is paid is the LHA rate, but if the rent is less than the LHA rate, the maximum we will pay will be the rent charged. For example if the LHA was £100.00 and the rent was £80 the most that would be paid would be £80. The household income is also taken into account.

If your tenant receives more than £384.62 a week in benefits (£257.69 if they are single) your tenant's benefit may be reduced because of the benefit cap.

Tenants can use the benefits calculator to work out their benefit entitlement.

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Click to expandHow is Local Housing Allowance paid?

The first payment on a new claim is normally made by cheque payable to the landlord and sent to the tenant’s address. This encourages the tenant to present the cheque to the landlord preventing any arrears.

Future payments will then be issued to the tenant. ​

Click to expandCan my tenant’s payments come directly to me?

Payments will normally be made direct to the tenant. Payments of Local Housing Allowance can be made direct to a landlord if:

  • We consider that a tenant is unlikely to pay their rent
  • We think that a tenant cannot handle their own affairs
  • A tenant is more than 8 weeks in arrears with their rent
  • The rent has been reduced to help the tenant secure or retain a tenancy

You must provide full details of the reason for your request. Including name and address for yourself and your tenant, tenants claim number if known, the rent amount and frequency charged, and details of the bank account you wish payments to be made to. This information can be provided at a One Stop Centre or post it to us at Welfare and Benefits, Citizens and Communities, Selectapost 15, Leeds, LS2 8BA.

For rent arrears cases you will need to provide proof of the arrears. This should be a rent statement that shows the rent due and the rent that has not been paid.

For tenants unlikely to pay or who cannot handle their affairs you must provide a written statement explaining why you believe your tenant will not pay their rent. We may have to contact the tenants first to determine if they are unable to manage their finances.

We encourage landlords to reduce rents where this will help customers to secure or retain a tenancy when their benefit does not cover their rent. We will consider paying Local Housing Allowance direct to you if you reduce the rent because your tenant can no longer meet the agreed rent or a new tenant cannot afford the rent. Your tenant must agree to direct payment and you must have reduced the rent to a level that your tenant can afford.​

Click to expandWhat information can we share about your tenant’s Housing Benefit?

If you do not receive Housing Benefit payments on behalf of your tenant or your tenant has not provided their written permission to discuss the claim we will not be able to provide you with any information about the tenants claim and/or claimant. Please liaise with your tenant directly to resolve any enquiries.

If you receive Housing Benefits payments on behalf of your tenant you can use the online service to view information regarding your tenant’s benefit claim.

If your tenant has given written permission for us to discuss the claim with you we can provide the following information:

  • If a claim for Housing Benefit has been made
  • If we have made a decision on the claim
  • When we have made a payment, payment dates and the value of the payment
  • If your tenant needs to provide us with more information to make a decision on their claim and what information is needed. We will only tell you general details e.g. income details needed. We will not provide information to you about your tenant's personal or financial circumstances

Click to expand Reporting a change in your tenant’s circumstances (direct payments only)

If you receive Housing Benefit on behalf of your tenant you have a duty to tell us of any changes in your tenant's circumstances that you become aware of which may affect the amount of Housing Benefit your tenant is entitled to.

Some examples of changes you need to tell us about include the amount of rent that you charge your tenant or if your tenant gives you notice to terminate their tenancy or leaves your property.

If you are not sure if the change will affect the amount of Housing Benefit, tell us anyway and we will make the decision. Should a change in your tenant's circumstances result in an overpayment of Housing Benefit, the overpayment may be recoverable from you because you received the payments.

You must provide full details of the change and the date it occurred. Please include name and address for yourself and your tenant, tenants claim number if known. This information can be provided at a One Stop Centre or post it to us at Welfare and Benefits, Citizens and Communities, Selectapost 15, Leeds, LS2 8BA.

Click to expandDisputes and appeals

If you think our decision about your tenant’s Housing Benefit is wrong, you can ask for the decision to be explained. You can also ask us to look at our decision again.

As a landlord you have the right to dispute or appeal against the following types of decisions regarding a tenant’s Housing Benefit:

1. Decision to make payments of Housing Benefit to the tenant rather than yourself

2. Decision to make an overpayment of Housing Benefit recoverable from you rather than the tenant.

The letter telling you about our decision will tell you if you can appeal or not.

If you are not happy with the decision we have made regarding your tenant’s Housing Benefit claim you can ask us to look at it again and review it. You need to write to us stating why you do not agree with the decision that has been made.

You must provide full details of the reason why you disagreed with the decision, in the case of an overpayment please confirm the amount and the invoice number. You should also include name and address for yourself and your tenant and your tenants claim number if known.

If you want to appeal against a decision affecting Housing Benefit, you have the right to a hearing at an independent tribunal. If you want a tribunal hearing, please write to the address below giving full reasons why you think the decision is wrong. Any appeal to tribunal must be signed.

Welfare & Benefits Service
Selectapost 15
Leeds
LS2 8BA

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Click to expandGeneral Housing Benefit Enquiries

If you receive Housing Benefits payments on behalf of your tenant you can use the online service to view information regarding your tenant’s benefit claim.

If payments of LHA have stopped or been suspended then you need to speak to your tenant about this, as it maybe they are no longer entitled to Housing Benefit or need to provide us with further information.

If your tenant is receiving payments of LHA then you need to contact them for arrangements of rent payments. If you are having problems obtaining payments of rent then please refer to the information about requesting direct payments of LHA.​

Click to expand Universal Credit

If your tenant is in receipt of Universal Credit, they cannot claim Housing Benefit. However, they can get help to pay their rent within their Universal Credit award which is paid direct to them. Universal Credit is not paid to your tenant by Leeds City Council.

More information about Universal Credit can be found on our Universal Credit page. Our Universal Credit Information for Landlords booklet is available.

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